A Second View


“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” [John 7:24]. Not long ago, my 1-year old great-granddaughter, Noelle, was taken the local hospital with a virus that caused her to be very ill.

Our daughter, Karen (Noelle’s grandmother), stayed at Noelle’s home while her parents stayed with Noelle at the hospital. Karen decided to do some cleaning while she was there to pass the time.

Karen said she went into Noelle’s playroom and had second thoughts about straightening things up. She said she looked around the room and Noelle’s books and toys were scattered around in her room just the way she had left them.

She said as she looked around at Noelle’s room, her love for her granddaughter was greater than making her playroom appear neat. She said Noelle put her toys and books where she enjoyed playing with them.

The clutter reminded Karen of her love for her granddaughter and her strong desire to see her well again and playing with her toys and books. The clutter became secondary and a grandmother’s love for her granddaughter became primary.

Shortly after my wife, Myrna, passed away I was reminded again just how much I missed her when looking at her collection of angels in our living room. They are just the way she left them.

I thought at first that perhaps I should pack them away; however, by taking a second view of them, they became very precious to me in her absence, just as Noelle’s clutter of toys and books became precious to her grandmother.

Sometimes the things that may appear as clutter are a reminder of how much we really love our family and others. The Bible tells us to set our house in order and one good way to help do that is to never throw away the reminders of how much we love one another.

In other words, take a second view of things and you will realize it’s not always clutter … sometimes it’s a reminder of love.

I am reminded of a poem written by Eugene Field:


The little toy dog is covered with dust,

But sturdy and staunch he stands;

The little toy soldier is red with rust,

And his musket moulds in his hands.

Time was when the little toy dog was new,

And the soldier was passing fair;

And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue


“Now don’t you go till I come,” he said,

“And don’t you make any noise!”

So, toddling off to his trundle bed,

He dreamt of the pretty toys;

And, as he was dreaming, an angel song

Awakened our Little Boy Blue —

Oh! the years are many, the years are long,

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,

Each in the same old place,

Awaiting the touch of a little hand,

The smile of a little face;

And they wonder, as waiting the long years through

In the dust of that little chair,

What has become of our Little Boy Blue,

Since he kissed them and put them there.




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George A. Hazlett is a retired minister in the Church of the Nazarene. He has written the weekly column, Think About it!, published weekly in Farm and Dairy for almost 28 years. He and his wife, Myrna, live in Hartville, Ohio.



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