Like Ice Cream

Chis Pirtle

Winter had finally broken. Lately it seemed winters lasted forever. But spring was finally here as the older man walked along the sidewalk holding the hand of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She had long blond hair, which was always a little unkept due to the tomboy in her. She wore faded overalls that were cutoff for the summer, with a red t-shirt and white Converse high tops. She was four, and she was his granddaughter. She had many questions which was normal on these walks that they took.  Today’s walk was to get ice cream which was sort of the usual and favorite objective of both Papa and Lilly. As they walked along they passed a Marine in Dress Uniform. Loudly and with little discretion Lilly asked, “Why is that guy wearing funny clothes?” “Well that young man is a soldier,” answered Papa. Of course that led to a series of questions that headed down a long path to ultimately, “What’s war, Papa?”

Vietnam had been a long time ago for Papa, but still vivid and present in his mind. Those thoughts were a far contrast, from the violence and horrors of war to the delicate little hand in his as they walked along on this beautiful day.  The only way Papa could think to explain war to his sweet little granddaughter would need to have a happy ending. “Sometimes there are bad things that happen,” he began, “But God always brings about restoration.” “What’s ‘rishoration’ Papa?” “That means that God loves us so much that after the bad things, come good things.”  “Like ice cream?” asked Lilly. Smiling, Papa said, “Yes honey, like ice cream.” It seems as though God had brought restoration to his family time and time again. So many hard times, but through them all, after all the darkness, always came the light. For Papa, to be there today was proof of that – that after all the darkness, indeed comes the light. “Yes honey, Like Ice Cream.”  

Revelation 19:5-7

John 1: 5   

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