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As the unexpected complexities of these days sometimes leave me in a daze

As I listen to the stories of lives so young, so old, in overwhelming isolation

As I think of not being able to hold a loved one’s hand or let my eyes rest on the final beat of that heart

I realize the gift of understanding life’s brevity

Each moment matters…Each day precious…Each memory of love…

I imagine we had an easier time of knowing joy when we were young

But maybe not

I was taught when it came to faith

Jesus said to remain childlike*

But I was too young to understand

Now I am older

So I ask for wisdom

And it came from a South African palliative care doctor, Dr. McAlpine, as I was reading and praying this morning. His terminally ill patients are children

When he interviewed them on the meaning of life what do you suppose they said gave them the most joy?

If you thought of holding your pet, you are correct

If you thought of memories at the beach, you are also correct

If you thought of reading and being told stories, oh yes, this too made the top of the list

If you thought of playing with toys, which I equate with being creative, and we are all created to create, then yes. You are right again, this also was on their list

And if there is one more childlike thing that brings great joy, what do you think it is?

When I read the answer I felt such a rush of emotion I could hardly contain it. Because my memory was twice blessed: Old Dog and me sharing ice cream. The last of the children’s short list is ice cream

These are the days to treasure childlike moments, to hold dear a childlike faith

Because we are the ordinary illuminated by Grace like starlight encircling us

*Matthew 18:2-4

**Article regarding Dr. McAlpine from “Determined” by Heather M. Dixon

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