I sat on the rug today in the elementary school library with 24 kindergarteners. The librarian had just read a story about Jane Goodall. The book was Me . . . Jane by Patrick Mcdonnell and it is told from the perspective of Jane Goodall as a little girl with her toy chimpanzee and describes her dream of "living with and helping all animals," Then one day she finds that her dream has come true and the book then shows a picture of the grown-up Jane with a real chimpanzee in Africa. Our wonderful librarian then held up a book she had made about herself as a child. It depicted her life as the 2nd oldest of 5 girls and on one page it mentioned her dream of becoming a librarian someday. The now grown-up librarian said to the kids, "And now look at me!" She motioned around the room and said, "My dream came true!"
Then she asked, "I wonder if any one of you has a dream for your future?"
A few of the kids said they wanted to work with animals one day, but I was amazed at some of the answers! One little girl raised her hand high and when called on said in a strong voice, "I want to ride a unicorn someday!"
"Whoa!" I thought, "Now THAT'S a dream!"
Then another little girl just couldn't wait to share her answer, "I want to slide down a rainbow!" she said.
"Me, too! I want to slide down a rainbow, too!" said the the little girl sitting next to her.
As I smiled at their cuteness, I also marveled at the innocence of these public school 5 and 6 year olds! "Thank you, God, for that. Thank you that their dreams are about unicorns and rainbows!" I silently prayed.
I helped the kids find and check-out books, then helped another class when the kindergarteners left, ran an errand, picked my 4 year old up from preschool, had lunch with her, played a round of the game Guess Who where I always end up letting her win, read her a story, and settled her into bed for some rest-time (which she never uses to actually rest, but it's quiet time for us both any way).
Then my husband stopped by home during his work day to pick up something tax-related to take by the post office (yes, we are last-minute like that) and he asked if I'd heard about what happened in Boston. I hadn't. I opened up my computer and read a couple articles and my heart sank.
Evil had struck again.
"Why, God? Why can't this world be unicorns and rainbows for our kindergarten kids to grow up in?"
Of course, I know a lot of reasons why life here on this earth is not going to be easy. And senseless tragedies, like today in Boston, remind me so clearly that we are not home yet! This world is not our home! Here on earth the battle is on -- good versus evil!
But we are assured in Revelation 21 that one day God will dwell with us and, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Until then, may I live like I believe that and teach my children the same. This world is not my home and He is coming back!