1 Peter 4.10
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
A Word of Hope
I’m a big fan of Elton John. I began listening to him early in his career, not realizing until much later, how tumultuous his life was on so many levels in the early 70s. He dealt with coming out as a gay man, family life, music business, and all the random, unexpected things connected to following his dreams. As most are aware, he is a prolific songwriter and singer. I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert in the late 90s. This morning one song of his auto-played for me on YouTube; one of my favorites, Tiny Dancer. The lyrics and context were timely.
The video itself related to many things but what struck me was my own interpretation of the phrase “tiny dancer in your hands,” which, to me, is about responsibility we adults have to the children of the world. You may or may not agree, but I think it’s safe to say that as adults we are responsible for the things we say and do, especially focusing on what our children witnessed in all of us.
Jim Henson was often quoted saying, “….the world doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the children, we only borrow it.” which is so true. Those tiny, inspired dancers, artists, scientists, doctors, environmental protectors, and yes, even those tiny ones soon to be politicians… Because in all of them lies stewardship and change. Let’ ask ourselves, what is it that we imbue to them as their adult counterparts? What is it that we set as examples for how we interact with them, how we adults manage our every-day lives, and invariably create for their world? You know your answer. I know mine. Whether I am a “kid person” or not; whether we are given the gift of teaching and understanding them, we have the job of demonstrating life; all with the ups and downs > Good and bad > Better or worse.
Most of what I do for a living involves teaching and entertaining children. In recent times, my business partner and I have been given the opportunity to step up our game regarding what we do for children in our quest to make their world better. It’s a win-win. The pandemic gave us pause to realize what we can do for them while they are stuck at home… of course, while we are all stuck at home, we must look deeper to find hope at home; realizing that confinement can also be a gift from God.
The greatest gift we have been given is the opportunity to stop and reflect, to attempt to see the world through their eyes. We are in a constant search not to turn back time, but to look within ourselves to relate to every one of them authentically. I invite you now to remember yourself at five years old; then 12 years old, perhaps even at 16 or 17 years. What would you have had adults do around you that made your world better?
In his endless enterprises and innovations, Walt Disney formulated ideas of how to create situations in which both parents and children could enjoy and experience growth together. His
primary goal was to allow us to get in touch with the child within all of us. I’m sure you could make your own list of what that means to you. Then, take a good look at what children are facing today. How do we connect with them in the NOW. Those tiny dancers are counting on each of us. They are watching us closely and they don’t care whether we are their parents or not. We are all their teachers.
Help us to remember that one of Jesus’ followers most frequent titles of respect for him was “teacher”. May we revere and honor that title in our daily encounters with the tiny dancers in our lives.
Charlie Rose |
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare