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Wanna Be My Friend

Nine to three-fifty is a long time for a kindergartner to be in school! It’s a dumb idea, especially when every cell in a five year old is screaming, “move… play… have fun!”

My five-year-old granddaughter is doing great in kindergarten, but having a hard time with the long hours and separation from her mom and dad and little brother.

So… I decided a grandpa treat was in order yesterday. I picked her up from school, drove through McDonalds and ordered her favorite… a Happy Meal with chicken nuggets and a chicken sandwich, NO lettuce, and apple juice.

We drove down to the Edmonds beach park. She picked a table and ate her food while we chatted about everything – watching the Edmonds ferry and two guys in wet suits launch their kites to wind surf. She also ran down some crows nearby that were eyeing her French fries.

But the best was yet to come.

She asked if she could play on the playground by the water, and was quickly engaged on the slide with a little girl close to her age. They giggled and talked to each other as they walked up the slide, then slid back down in every possible configuration.

At one point the sweet little girl we had just met turned to my granddaughter and with the purest heart and toothless smile asked, “You wanna be my friend?”

Without a second’s hesitation, my granddaughter answered with an inflection in her voice that conveyed her sincerity, “Sure!”

And for the next 15-20 minutes they climbed and slid and laughed together until it was time for me to get my little charge home.

As we walked away hand in hand, my granddaughter looked over her shoulder and said, “Goodbye best friend,” and they exchanged waves until we disappeared over the grassy hill.

The Bible says of the innocence and joy of the coming Kingdom of God that a “child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).

I caught a glimpse of that coming Kingdom at the Edmonds Beach playground the other day, and, like my Dad used to say, “It made me homesick for heaven.”

What if our lives, as Christ followers, are to be a witness to heaven on earth today? I think our relationships, inside and outside the Body of Christ, are to look like what I saw on that playground… an attractive extension of the love of God within.

Wanna be my friend?

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