A mother wrote a short note on Facebook that caught my attention. She said her 4-year-old son was playing on the climbing bars while at the park when he shouted to his mom, “Put your eyeballs on me!”

Mother thought it was amusing. “I have my eyeballs on you.”

“NO,” he responded demandingly. “I can’t see your eyeballs on me. Take your sunglasses off.”

The need in a child’s soul for you—his parent—to look at him is overwhelming. This is his soul hungering for love that says, “You are mine and my eyes are on you.” No other person can satisfy this need.

This evening I went to the park to swing. Swinging hard 50 times back and forth is good exercise for a senior citizen and it helps loosen up my neck. I go most every day for a 5- to 10-minute swing. As I rushed to the swing set, I passed a dad sitting on the park bench. He was looking intently at his cell phone. There on the climbing bars was his 4-year-old son, climbing while constantly looking over his shoulder at his dad to see if his “eyeballs were on him.” I could see disappointment in the little guy’s face as his shoulders slouched and he sat still. My grandma instinct got the better of me: I hit the lazy dad violently over the head with my fanny-pack and told him to get his sorry self over there to play with his son.

Actually, I didn’t really hit him, but I did think it real hard in case he had the gift of telepathy. Instead, I gently and sweetly said like the nice old lady that I am, “Your son would like his play a whole lot better if you climbed with him.” The dad didn’t take offense, nor did he take the obvious hint, but mumbled, “Yeah, well…” and down his eyeballs went to the phone as if glued to the screen.

That guy is one dumb dad and someday he will be so sorry. Face-time to a child is like sunshine to a flower or rain to parched soil. Jesus said, “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light . . .” (Luke 11:34).

In recognition of their need, Jesus said of little children who have died, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). If Jesus, busy with running the universe and caring for the church, takes time out to put his eyeballs on dead, departed infants and small children, why would we pass up the opportunity to do the same with those in our care? We tend to look at our treasure, and “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).