Eyes to the Future

Sitting in the back seat of the car on our day trip led to an incredible bonding experience with my grandson recently.

Although he is only 11 months old, when I focused on his eyes—deep gray blue marbles speckled with dancing light—he seemed much older. The eyes are the windows to the soul, as they say.

I gazed at him and wondered what kind of world he would end up inheriting from us—his parents and grandparents. 

In 2046, what will the world be like when he’s 27, my son’s age? If the world remains on its present trajectory and God doesn’t step in, I can only imagine the kinds of trials he might have to endure.

I was lost in his beautiful, soulful eyes, and he looked back into mine with a similar intensity. He had the same intense gaze, with an almost quizzical look, so uncharacteristic of a child that age. 

Maybe he was wondering why I was so focused on him. 

To me, he is nearly perfect in every way. He’s a beautiful child, as I’ve referred to him on more than one occasion. 

On this sunny day, his sparkling eyes captured glints from the summer sun and danced in an almost hypnotic way.

I searched his eyes for glimpses of his future. The deeper I gazed into them, the more I thought. What will he encounter in the coming years and decades of his life? 

Part of me shudders just thinking about it. If he follows Christ and lives as a Christian (which I pray he will), he may face intense persecution, the likes of which I’ve only imagined. 

He may have to fight for his rights to worship the way he wants—even right here in the United States, the land where freedom is supposed to ring and citizens are guaranteed the right to worship however they choose.

Each generation tends to think their generation had it the best (or the worst, depending on the context). I believe the 70s and 80s were the ideal time to grow up; however, I’m sure my millennial kids hold the same view of the 90s and 2000s.

What will my grandson say about growing up in the 20s and 30s? Will they be his ideal time or will he wish he had been born in another decade?

My hope is he will live his life to the fullest, no matter what he faces during his time on this earth. 

I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sorrow as we held each other’s gaze.

Is it irresponsible to raise a child in this day and age, given all the uncertainty in the world? Have previous generations asked themselves the same questions? 

I didn’t feel that way about rearing my own children. On the contrary, I felt it was the responsible thing to raise children and teach them right from wrong. 

At the time, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could feel that the world was too far gone to bring children into it.

How am I able to understand that viewpoint now? Have I changed, or has the world become a more dangerous and volatile place? Both perhaps.

Of course, the decision to bring this tiny creature into the world was not mine. However, there is little doubt I would still choose to have children all over again, even in these difficult times.

Certainly, I want the best for my grandson. I want those beautiful gray blue eyes to see only good in the world, ignoring the evil and the disturbing. 

Alas, I can’t shield him from all that. I’ll have to leave that in God’s hands for Him to manage.

As of now, his eyes have seen only good in the world. They have yet to witness many less savory things that he will no doubt come in contact with. 

I wish those mesmerizing pools of color could maintain their innocence throughout his life. My prayer is that all the negative he will inevitably encounter will somehow mold him for the better.

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