I think the wooden nutcracker ornaments are ugly. Their hair looks ridiculous, and their teeth are absurd. However, all three of my kids love the nutcracker Christmas ornaments in our home.
I see the unattractive exterior, but my children see visions of something more grand in these toy soldiers.
My girls love them because they love the Nutcracker ballet. They see a representation of beauty and romance. My son loves them because they are soldiers, and he sees the strength and the fight.
I need the eyes of a child to view this world. There is so much of life that is not pretty at first glance. There are so many moments that require eyes to look beyond what is glaring and apparent.
It is easy to see a place where people toss life in the trash in the name of convenience, slaughter it in the name of religious war, and end it in fits of rage. It takes effort to see beyond these, and many other, moments of ugly hair and teeth.
I want to see the beauty and the romance, and I want to believe in the strength and the fight.
I want to look in the face of the disasters and destructions of humanity and see those who are still dancing gracefully across the stage of life. I want to see the acts of love that outweigh the selfish and the profane. I want to focus on the ones who are fighting to bring love and peace.
Children see the world much closer to the way God views it. Humanity is a toy soldier, and God sees so much more than an ugly exterior. He has to, why else would he have been willing to send his son to live among us and bear the weight of our failings?
I am praying for eyes like my children’s.
God, help me to see the beauty in the hearts of others, remember the romance of your pursuit for us, and to always fight to help others find strength in you.