We try to go walking as often as we can in order to provide us with the illusion that we can obtain eternal life through exercise. When doing so we often encounter other walkers who are pursuing some variation of the same illusion. We always try to greet such fellow pilgrims with a cheerful, "Good morning!"
Most of the time they return the greeting as we pass, usually with somewhat less enthusiasm. I think our name tags worry people a little. Occasionally our salutation is completely ignored. Oh, I am sure it is not intentional. They probably just had a death in the family or some equally traumatic event in their life that has soaked up their entire bandwidth of awareness. Who am I to judge otherwise? After all, I have been known to focus on a problem or other attractions with such intensity that the world could cease to exist and I would hardly notice.
Once in a great while we encounter someone who wants to talk. Such was the case today.
He was a very nice man of 63 with full head of silver hair who was out walking his dog which looked like a miniature husky. Very attractive dog. Our name tags did not bother him a bit. In fact, that was what started the conversation. He said something like, "God bless you for what you do. I am Roman Catholic, but it's all the same. Right? As long as you treat people right it's all the same God. Right?"
We learned that he was a retired school teacher of special needs children and that his wife is still actively teaching such children. I will not be surprised to someday learn that people who do that kind of work have a very special place reserved for them in our Father's Kingdom.
As the conversation continued we learned that they have one adult daughter who also works in education and that there are no grandchildren yet. Our new sidewalk friend said their daughter has a boy friend and he made it abundantly clear, complete with expansive hand gestures (I think he is Italian), that he wishes they would get married and have children before he develops dementia and won't know who they are!
In this kind of situation we really do not enjoy mentioning that we happen to have seven wonderful children and 18 equally amazing grandchildren because it would be a little too much like going, "Nah, Nah, N', Nah, Nah" as we did when we were kids on the playground. And, we are adults. Right?
Actually, we kind of know how he might feel. Many of the senior missionary couples we meet seem anxious to tell us they have 27 children and 3,509 grandchildren and only 75 great-grandchildren, so far. "Nah, Nah, N', Nah, Nah."
Okay, okay, I am exaggerating a little. I have never actually heard a senior couple say, "Nah, Nah, N', Nah, Nah." How did I get this far off subject?
Anyway, as we said goodbye and parted ways I was feeling a little sorry for this very nice Italian gentleman (I think his name is Tony) because his desire for grandchildren is probably a forlorn hope. Why? Because all religions are not the same. Yes, they all teach us to treat people right, but they do not all have the true doctrines of our Heavenly Father which, when coupled with the power of the Holy Ghost, make it much easier to develop the faith necessary to keep the commandments of God when it is very unpopular in our society to do so. Now, that is a long sentence but it is so true.
So, while we are experiencing joy and rejoicing in our posterity, poor Tony is becoming more and more aware that he and his wife are missing out. Mercifully, they are not fully aware of the depth or height of that joy and rejoicing.