It's an August afternoon. I decide to take the gals in the sweltering heat to the local sandbox, while Brett works on the hay. The particular park we're going to is one we frequent often. It's located right next to our favorite library, and sandwiched in between the two is a relaxing pond, with ducks and geese galore. This part of town is one that gets talked about a lot. The people here are all ages and races, colors and kinds. It's just the way I like it. It's just the way others like to avoid it.
We pull up and begin our ten-minute task of whipping out the double stroller and loading it down with all our goods necessary for such a hot afternoon. As we stroll over to the sandbox I see families here and there, gathered together to enjoy a simple afternoon of play. I see the most beautiful shades of skin and am thankful that here, no one judges you based on whether or not you're wearing Tom's or Wal-Mart shoes. These are my kind of people.
We walk over to the sandbox and I set the girls inside. They are quickly amused and thrilled to be stepping into "the sandbox", that sacred place we've walked past so many times but haven't entered until today. Anna's brought along her brand-new Mickey Mouse watering can and shovel, but is just as pleased with the plastic cup and milk jug someone's discarded. Betsy sits happily, time after time trying to shovel the sand in her mouth. We are simple, carefree, happy.
My girls don't know that we're making a conscious decision to frequent our town, full of it's lovely people and families. They're unaware that even in the christian world, noses are sometimes turned up at this part of nwa. What I see are people that love each other. I spot a family toting their picnic in Wal-Mart bags. Two teenagers are seen listening to their parents. The teenage girl has beautiful, long straight hair. I wonder if she realizes her beauty.
I look around some more and see people talking and laughing, connections being made. Memories as many as the grains of sand.
There's a lesson in the park sandbox. I desperately want my gals to grow up knowing all kinds of people. Knowing that a person is a person. Their attitude and choices and Jesus makes them who they are-not the color of their skin or how fat their wallet is. If I preach the message to love all, like Jesus clearly did-but never expose them to those different than themselves, how will they know the beauty of how Christ loves us?
I'm so glad we dipped our toes into the sandbox this day.