As I found myself, as I do many evenings, on the playground with my youngest two girls, I was once again taken with the sight of them playing "tag" with children of all different nationalities. Immediately, a song popped into my head....
"Jesus love the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world."
However politically incorrect the "red and yellow, black and white" may be perceived in the 21st century, what a beautiful thought. Sad thing is, we sang it as children while many times being taught prejudice and sometimes even hate. (Fortunately for me, not by my family.) Not that the adults around us really meant to, but we come from a culture that has risen from this prejudice. In reality, the song is so true, and if the God of the universe loves them all, who are we not to?
Many years ago, we were at Disney World with our two oldest daughters, then ages 6 and 9. We got on the boat to ride through "It's a Small World". As we traveled deep into the cavernous, music filled mountain, the animatronic children started singing... "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears. It's a world of hope, and a world of fears. There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all." My children, and myself I must admit, were wide eyed as we watched the animated figures and listened to them sing. I turned to the girls and said, "If you will look closely, you will notice that the children singing are dressed differently like they would be all over the world. They are all different colors and look different, yet they are singing the same song together." One of my girls looked up at me and replied, "Just like Heaven, Mama." Yes, honey, just like Heaven.
I had to turn my head that day as the tears were flowing at the realization that it was in fact much like Heaven, but that we were missing something here on Earth. Walt Disney was wise beyond his years at the time he conceived the whole "It's a Small World" idea. I don't think he meant for it to be a simple theme park ride. I like to think that he imagined us riding through, being struck by the truth that we are all in this together, no matter where we live, what color our skin happens to be, or where we've come from. I don't know if he was a man of faith, but I wonder if he envisioned a little piece of Heaven when he created this theme park attraction? Even if he just meant to entertain us, what a great lesson we receive when we think deeply of all that it truly should mean.
"Jesus love the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world."