Is Anyone Happy Anymore?

 

Times are tough. I know. Blah blah blah. But they are, and they wear us all down. The expression on everyone's face is a mix of stress, exhaustion, anger, and worry. How I long for simpler, happier times! Like 2019, or something.

My wife asked me yesterday, "Do we know anyone who is full of happiness? Where you could go visit them and they pump you up?"

This is not a shot at my friends or colleagues. It's not like visiting people is miserable. Far from it. However, we're all struggling, and a true non-superficial visit inevitably reveals real-life hardships. 

But my wife continued, "Jude! He's always happy!"

Jude is our two-year-old son. As only a two-year-old can, he is a spark of energy, joy, smiles, and craziness. He runs to me in the morning with a big smile. He runs to me when I come home from work and shouts my name. He runs to me when he doesn't want to go to bed at night. He is a non-stop bundle of laughs. Everyday, and I mean everyday, he is a spark of joy and happiness in our lives. So too our other children, of course, but especially Jude.

Parents know what I am trying to say. The joy of children is irreplaceable. In these trying times, it is perhaps one of the greatest blessings a family can have. Is anyone happy anymore? The little child is.

* * *

To this point, I must offer one sad footnote. More and more I am hearing very concerning stories from older people. It goes like this: "My kids said we can't visit our grandkids unless we get our COVID-shots."

All I will say to this - besides to not hesitate cutting them out of your will - is that this is a most serious and concerning action. Whatever COVID beliefs one has, it is undeniable that everyone is struggling (vaccine or no vaccine). To deliberately remove someone's main source of happiness - in this case to one's own parents (!) - is inhumane. It is ungodly. It is selfish. It cries to heaven. 

"Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such" (Mt. 19:14).  

Children are a gift of happiness to the world. Forbid them not to come to those in need.


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