On Tuesday we celebrate the 247th birthday of our day of independence. On our agenda will be picnics, family, barbeque, and then fireworks to round out the day. I was thinking back to days when the children were young (and so was I).  I am crowd-averse, so big displays were never my thing. My poor kids.

One of our first years here, we went to the beach to watch the fireworks. Danny was two. It was his worst nightmare.  The sound of the fireworks did not compensate for their beauty. It was not fun.

The next year, I decided to put a little distance between us and the explosions.  Lindsey and I checked around and found a spot on the hill from which we could watch all the fireworks in SoCal. We’d need a telescope to see them all, but we decided to try something different.

As twilight approached, we parked on Via Pinzon and hiked out on a bluff as the last of a beautiful sunset faded over the South Bay. The lights of the city blazed below, and I realized that it really didn’t matter what man shot in the sky, we had our display already!

When the fireworks finally arrive, I was drawn to watch Danny’s three-year-old face more than the fireworks themselves. The displays were beautiful, but his face was filled with wonder. You could hardly hear the pops, so he could concentrate on the beauty. There were plenty of ahh’s. But with each bursts there was a sense of delight in his eyes.

I couldn’t help but thinking how beautiful was the innocence of childhood. No wonder our Savior said that to enter His kingdom we’d have to become like a child. It didn’t take much to stir a sense of awe in Danny’s eyes. His face glowed. Is this what it will be like to see Jesus for the first time? Will my heart be so childlike and tender that I marvel at seeing him? Or will I be so worldly that I miss the wonder?

It is too easy to become callous. The scabs on my heart can grow thick. But when I meet the Savior I want the tender heart of a three-year-old. And if He came today? Could I gaze in innocence? Could I look with the eyes of a child? And as I live today … am I so in love with Him that everything He does — both big and small — brings out childish exuberance?

May we keep our hearts pure and innocent that our face will shine as we serve Him and our eyes dance at the thought of seeing Him on that great day! Oh for a childlike faith!