One of the joys of parenting, I’ve discovered, is watching your child learn. Sometimes I swear I can actually see the wheels turning as our one-year-old figures out a new skill or realizes he’s capable of some new physical action. I’ve particularly enjoyed observing how Micah’s ability to communicate has changed and grown over the last several months.
Micah mostly does a lot of pointing and babbling and other various noises, but he’s picked up at least one word—yes. Well, actually, it sounds more like ‘yeah,’ and is always accompanied by an emphatic head nod. He’s learned to pick up on the tone of our voices and knows when we’re asking him questions. And his response is always ‘Yeah.’
Our conversations can sound something like:
Do you want to go to the park? Yeah
Should we go get ready for dinner? Yeah
Do you want to play with the airplane or the puzzle? Yeah
Where did the dog go? Yeah
I know, logically, that he’s saying ‘yes’ because it’s just the easiest word he’s learned so far. I imagine someday (likely in the not-so-distant future) he’ll discover words like ‘No’ or ‘Mine’ and many of our conversations might sound very different! But every time I hear that sweet ‘Yeah’ and the resounding nod of the head, I’m encouraged by the positivity and openness it represents.
I wonder what this world would look like if we were all as quick as a toddler to say ‘yes.’ As people of faith, we’re asked to say ‘yes’ to meeting the needs of others, to really listen to what another is struggling with, or to showing care for our sisters & brothers. I wonder how different our faith would look if we didn’t have the example of Jesus… who was so good at saying ‘yes’ to just about any person or situation in front of him.
When people were seeking healing. When those in the minority were struggling to be heard. When someone had questions of faith and simply wanted to understand more deeply. When his friends were afraid and needed assurance.
Again and again, Jesus responded with an evident ‘yes’ (it’s unclear from scripture if a head nod was also included). Yes—to helping, caring, hearing, or participating. There’s lots to experience and tend to in this world—if only we’re willing to say ‘yes,’ too.