Child’s Play

This picture caught my attention more than others I took that day. Sometimes I intuitively sense that the photo has more than lines, light and shadows. It is more than just an interesting composition. It is worth going back to it, gaze at it in stillness and silence, and let the Spirit blow as he wills. 

I find myself going back to my childhood. I do not remember either of my parents playing with me. I remember playing with my younger sister but not my older brothers. I felt forlorn. Maybe they did play with me but I could not remember. How could I not remember when I remember playing with my sister? Were they too busy? – he with work and her with raising five children. I wonder if this left an unfilled hole in my soul. 


I suddenly realise Christ, the Eternal One, was present to me in my childhood. He loved me even though I did not know him. I find myself comforted, like he was saying to me, “I was there with you, playing, accompanying you, when you were a child. I delighted in you.” The thought of this was so delicious, I felt comforted and blessed, and welcomed his love, there and then in front of the photo on my iPad. “Lord, thank you for being with me all along. I do not need to feel deprived of parental love. You loved me. Thank you, Lord, for this sense of peace and comfort.”

I thank God that by his grace when I became a parent I played with my kids – enjoying their company, the smiles, the cycling, card games, street soccer in void decks and basketball. Now that I think of it, I left them pleasant memories of play. Lord, thank you .

Too many parents have lost the joy of play. They love challenging their children to do better at school and fill their schedules with tuition and enrichment classes. Why not play with your children? Besides sports and outdoor stuff, there are lots of board games. Play is play when there is no utilitarian purpose achieved, besides fun and enjoyment. If there are benefits, they are a bonus. If none at all, play anyway.


A child jumps around the hall and makes monkey noises. There is no purpose at all besides sheer fun. No noble end achieved. It is pure play. We adults have lost that and need to rediscover it with our kids. And for ourselves too. Many people have observed that the pandemic has prodded, even driven adults to rediscover and reclaim play. From gardening to board-games, from cycling to cooking, from hiking to painting and drawing, adults are returning to reclaiming the art of play.

Play is becoming endemic during the pandemic.

Some good is coming out of bad. I am glad this is happening. Satan is not. God is.

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