Through the Eyes of a Child

While watching an old Andy Griffith episode one day, my 6-year-old grandson piped up with a question. “Why don’t they want that man to sing, Nonna? He sings real good!” That man was Rafe Hollister who, with his golden singing voice, had won a contest to sing at the Ladies’ Society Musicale.

But the ladies’ society’s uppity president, Mrs. Jeffries, felt that the uncouth, shoddily dressed farmer would embarrass them all. So Mayberry’s pompous mayor, Mr. Stoner, put sherriff Andy Taylor in charge of making sure Rafe would not disgrace the town.

For those unfamiliar with The Andy Griffith Show, it is an American television series that first aired in the 1960s. The series revolves around Andy Taylor, the sheriff of the sleepy, slow-paced fictional community of Mayberry, North Carolina. At home, widower Andy faces the challenges of raising his young son Opie. And of handling the ill-considered romances and adventures of his maiden aunt and housekeeper, Aunt Bee.

Andy’s laid-back, quiet approach to his job makes him the target of local bootleggers and out-of-town criminals. But his ability to solve community problems with common sense makes him popular with his fellow citizens. His life is further complicated by eccentric townspeople, various girlfriends and bumbling friends. And particularly by his well-meaning but inept deputy, Barney Fife, and his repeated blunders.

Anyway, at this point in the episode my 4-year-old granddaughter added, “Yea, he sings better than that other guy,” (Deputy Barnie Fife). So I explained that they didn’t like the way Mr. Hollister looked. Which brought about an interesting conversation.

GRANDSON: What’s wrong with him? He looks OK to me!

ME: Well, they don’t like the way he’s dressed.

GRANDDAUGHTER: He looks OK to me. He’s just dressed like a farmer.

GRANDSON: And he could always change his clothes.

ME: That’s true. He could do that…

Through the eyes of a child

It’s no wonder Christ says that we must become like little children to enter his kingdom.

He called a small child and had him stand among them. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’

Matthew 18:2-4 CSB

We need hearts like children have, to see as they see. And not like the mayor and Mrs. Jeffries – or me sometimes! Because sadly, my thoughts had been along the same line as those of the mayor and the snooty Mrs. Jeffries. “How could they have someone as unkempt as Rafe Hollister get up there to sing?”

Meanwhile, police deputy Barney Fife had already cast himself as the winner. And he strutted off to the musicale tryouts, convinced he would win first place. But humble Rafe Hollister entered only because Sheriff Andy Taylor had convinced him to try. “You think I’ve really got a chance?” he asked in amazement.

In the end, Barney embarrassed himself with his out-of-tune singing. While humble, misfit Rafe Hollister, with his truly gifted voice, won first place! Listen to Rafe and Barney sing (below) and you’ll see why Rafe won!

My attitude adjustment

My grandchildren gave me an attitude adjustment that day. And helped me see why Christ says that if we want to enter his kingdom we must become like small children.

Instead of judging by appearances kids often look beyond, to the heart of the person. And see with eyes of love and acceptance, as Jesus does.

My prayer today is that the Lord would give me such a heart. And not like the snooty mayor and Mrs. Jeffries!

Preconceived notions are locks on the door to wisdom.

Mary Browne

Images: Girl & playhouse by Skitterphoto | The Andy Griffith show © Paramount Pictures, all rights reserved, fair use.

20 thoughts on “Through the Eyes of a Child

  1. My husband and I learned to return to play from our grandson. My grandson also taught me how to stop and focus on the simple things and delight in them. Thank you, Sheila, for this reminder. May your grandchildren continue to bless you. Karen


    1. Thanks Karen. Grandchildren are a special blessing for sure. This is an episode from when they were smaller. And unfortunately (for us at least) they’re all living in the states now. Long distance just isn’t the same. I’m happy for you that you have grandkids closer to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Kathie. This episode is from when they were smaller and still lived in Italy. All our family is back in the states now. But I sure learned a good lesson from them that day!!


  2. Reading this again I’m reminded of how often I judge by what I think I see rather than what I know I understand to be true. A wonderful reminder to remember what really matters–not appearances but the posture of the heart.


  3. Your grands got it right–and seeing through the eyes of a child can free us up in so many ways in our walk with Jesus. No assumptions, no expectations, no hesitations. Listened to the clip–my word, what a lovely voice.


    1. Yes Dayle, our grands have so much to teach us. I’m glad we got to spend a lot of quality time with our daughter’s kids before they moved to the USA. Miss them and their simple wisdom. And yes, he does have quite the voice!


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