Today at Caffé Ladro, Susanna and I sat next to Tom. Our conversation led Tom to tell me a story about when the first Hawaiians came to the islands. At first, only men came with tools, plants, chickens and other things necessary for settling. When they went to fetch the women, they didn’t bring any children or pregnant women because it was too dangerous. Now, ancient Hawaiian lore speaks of a “period of great sadness” among the first Hawaiians while they waited for children to join their society.
In America especially (possibly exclusively), children are not very highly valued. They are looked at as inconveniences, interruptions. As Chris and I navigate parenthood and resist the temptation to go along with the world’s view, sometimes we have to fight for joy. But Tom’s story made me think.
Can you imagine a society without children? It would be incredibly depressing.
Tom, a single man with no children, commended me for bringing Susanna into the world and for bringing her out to the coffee shop. When I responded to his story that I had never thought about the important role children play in society, he said, “perhaps that attitude has something to do with why we are not living our lives the way maybe we should be.”
How I wish I had picked up on this opportunity to share the Gospel. On the way home I thought of so many questions I could have asked Tom that would have led to a spiritual conversation. Who knows? Maybe Tom was looking for a way to share the Gospel with me (though based on my usually-correct perceptions, I doubt it).
I am going to pray for Tom. Maybe Susanna and I will make Caffé Ladro a regular place to wait for nap time, and God will give me another opportunity to chat with Tom.