“Look!” I say to my granddaughter as we step outside to witness the first signs of spring.
“What?” she asks.
“Right there! See?”
“There!” I point to the dirt where the poppies poked through last year.
“Nothing’s there, Grammy.”
If she weren’t four, she might be thinking I am on my way to losing what I, at my age, don’t like to think of losing—my mind. But she hasn’t been around long enough to seem the least bit concerned that something might be seriously wrong with me. (I love this age!)
I point again and kneel down by the dirt where I know the poppies will show through very soon.
“There’s something happening here. We may not be able to see it, but it’s happening all the same.”
A hard concept for a little person still in the concrete stage of development to take in. We bend down to get a closer look and I coax her a little more to see the invisible. Then, as if she completely understands, she says, “Yes, I see it, Grammy! I see it! I see it!”
So refreshing—the faith of a child.
There’s nothing there now, but the poppies will come.
How do I know? I remember.
How do we know if something is growing? How do we know we’re growing? How do we know our children are growing?
We look back. We have faith.
Not until we look at the pictures and see those teeth that were once too big for their head, or grab the shoes now too small for their elephantine feet (surely she got those from her dad) do we see how much they’ve grown.
All the snacks you doled out, all the bribes for napping, the extra holding when the fever wouldn’t go down. It all kept them growing—out of their teeth and into new shoes.
Remember that when it’s hard to believe in the invisible.
But it passes before us every day.
One day your child will be reading on their own. Your grandchildren will be listening to you just as you listened to them. A hug will come from the one you swaddled and sang to. Your child’s faith will hold you up when yours is running low.
All signs that something very real, but hard to see, or perhaps impossible to see at the time, was at work.
We must keep laughing and hugging. We must keep talking and listening. We must keep praying.
We must keep reading stories that help nourish the soil, water the hard, cracked ground and keep our tender shoots standing.
Keep planting. Keep weeding and watering. Your tender young shoot is growing—no matter what you see.
If you can’t see anything now, just wait. You will soon enough.
Believe in the invisible. The invisible is at work.
Here’s some books to help keep watch . . .
Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. A book used in a variety of settings for children going through hard times of uncertainty and change.
What we see can tell us more about what we can’t see.
A story of the miracle inside each of us.
Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.
And after reading, make up some INVISIBLE INK! The invisible will show itself, right before your eyes! (And your kids can write some secret messages!)
What’s invisible today you may see tomorrow. Keep watch!