This I Believe

Kaitlin - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Love Has a Child’s Eyes

As a little girl, my eyes sparkled with the magic of fairy tales, and everything held a secret enchantment. The greatest of these enchantments was love, and it had the power to banish all evil. I sought to hold a bit of that magic within my own heart so that I might share it with everyone; the world would sparkle like the dreams in my eyes, and we would live happily ever after. Funny how as we grow, the sparkle of snow becomes the dull ice on which we slip into gray reality…

Reality is a child’s eyes sparkling with tears, not magic, because the magic has gotten lost somewhere. Instead, there is death and hatred—cruel and unjust judgment that is the cause of so much illusion. Beauty is power. To choose starvation is to be praised for beauty, but to suffer circumstantial starvation is to be of lesser value. To love is to be weak, and to be weak is to be worthless. Even loving yourself is out of the question because you would have to stop seeking perfection. You have to demand perfection of everyone, and everyone has to be trained to think and believe the same way. That is how we can create peace.

Reluctant as I was to let go of childhood, I didn’t want to believe in that hard, cold ice. I still wanted to see snow. I let go of my fairy tales, but not of love. I still believed that love held some mysterious power to banish the darkness, so I continued to light candles on Christmas and sing “Silent Night,” my heart lit like the candles in that sacred home. The ice couldn’t freeze those walls.

It could. The Christmas after I turned thirteen, my warm glow of starlight in a stable froze over when my mother told us we weren’t going to the candle light service. She didn’t have anything socially acceptable to wear. Even my soul wept as the tears poured from my eyes, and I prayed that the salt they carried would melt the cruel ice I refused to accept. I talked back to my mother that day, and I told her that we were going to that service. Jesus didn’t care if she walked into the church naked, so long as she came to celebrate His birth. I couldn’t let the light go out; love was still the greatest of all things.

This I believe: That love is the grace to accept those imperfections and differences among us and to forgive any offenses done to us. Only through love can peace be found, and only with the heart of a child can we accept that love. I believe that children possess the grace necessary to see the truth, and experience should not dull the shimmering snow, but should deepen the strength of the magical glow within the gentle white baptismal fall. “So faith, hope, and love remain, but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).