Today I was sitting in the church and looked up. A picture caught my eye, a picture that I must have seen numerous times in the past. The first thing that caught my eye was the smiling children walking along a spring path with what looked like cherry blossoms in the background. I suppose it is okay for children to smile, but it looked like all the children had the same smile. Their mouths were open, a bit of teeth were showing and they were all looking up. The picture got stranger and stranger when I realized it made no difference whether a child looked from the right or the left. It made no difference whether the child was a boy or a girl. It really bothered me that these children could all be smiling - that just is not the life know for myself or for my children. But then something happened ...
I looked up - not way up, just the three inches from where the children stood smiling to what they were smiling at. There in the focal point of the picture was Jesus. He was carrying another smiling child, holding the hand of another young girl, also smiling.
The minute I saw Jesus I relaxed and I felt a smile on my own face. It was as if it was okay for children to smile in His presence. I am not so naïve as to think that Jesus makes everything okay, but it was also a relief to know that the artist was not merely painting smiles to paint smiles. Rather, he was reminding us all that Jesus did love the children. It is also a reminder that Jesus loves us. One day we each, as believers, will be at home with Jesus. And I am reminded that is okay to smile when I think of Jesus.