A Child’s Gift

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“Children are the hands by which we take hold of Heaven.” 

Henry Ward Beecher

I held her in my arms, the most beautiful gift and most precious miracle. With big blue baby eyes full of wonder and trust, believing in what is good, pure, and lovely before ever knowing the meaning of this life. Holding her was like holding a promise, that God is good and that what we pray matters. She was a survivor that very well could have been a miscarriage, but prayer saved her and here she was.

This experience will always stay with me. It is the first healing I had been a part of. God heard me despite my fears and worries. He brought life into a broken situation, as was His will all along. Now, I am all the more outraged at the heinous crimes of abortion, at all the lost children that have been reduced to a mere bunch of cells. I see the overwhelming efforts of those whose morality is still intact, fighting against the injustice of our society in the hopes of saving lives, and I also can’t ignore the growing number of children discarded and put in foster homes. Is it not a crime enough that we are destroying our present society and selves? What we are doing to our children may well effect tomorrow’s world. What inheritance are we leaving for them?

I know the world is still full of people who value children, but it seems a lot of the voices that are being heard through the crowd are painting an opposite message. Those in childcare are being paid very little and often take the brunt of the blame for the raising of children. Babies are being talked about as if it is debatable whether they are in fact living beings. Neglect and abuse are at an all-time high against children, and their treatment doesn’t always improve when placed in a foster home. Children are often treated as burdens and labeled with mental ailments to avoid placing blame on the parents. Now gender is being attacked and erased from the curriculum as well as religion. Children are left with very little guidance as to who they are and what they should believe. And yet we continue to blame them when they eventually lash out at the confusion enveloping their lives.

What has become of families? So much brokenness and separation. So much fear towards their children, who first came as a blessing and gift. As the Bible says in Psalm 127:3-5:

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

A child has always been considered a joy and blessing from God. The Bible even states that Heaven is made for children and those who are child-like in their faith. That they are the greatest of these and crowned with glory. Have we forgotten that we were all once children, and to God, we are still His children! Though we are adults physically we have forgotten that we must be child-like towards our Father. To believe and trust Him just as our children do instinctively.

Even I have needed that reminder, at the age of 23. The truth is, it’s hard to worry and fret about adult problems when surrounded by children at play. It sparks something deep inside, something lost, that causes everyone to smile and dream again. We underestimate them, their abilities to cope and understand things that we often miss. Sometimes one small phrase from a child, a single observation or thought can leave us changed. You don’t have to be a professor to teach someone, heck, you don’t even have to be three years old!

I’ve seen the effect a single child can bring to someone. Especially someone who has suffered great loss. In the face of death, a baby can bring so much light. As novelist/philosopher, Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, “ the soul is healed by being with children.” Or as American poet Carl Sandburg said, “a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” Both these quotes are spoken by people of experience, people that discovered something of great value in the eyes of a child. And isn’t that what we see in the face of a newborn baby, hope, and love? That though there are pain and loss in this world there is also life and a future to protect.

You may or may not like children, you might even be afraid of them or think that they don’t like you. I promise you this isn’t true, God made us all able to relate and guide children in the ways they should go. And He created each and every child to be a blessing and promise. You will never meet a child who is bad, maybe a child who is hurt and feeling unloved, but never is any child born angry and resentful. I have taken care of children from many backgrounds, and have found that the ones who “act-out” are the ones who need love the most, so much so that they are screaming inside and doing things that they know will get them in trouble, why? because even negative attention is still attention. They are just like us, hungry for love, needing a father to guide them and people to help them. Searching for something and someone, a hand to lead them home.

What I See

Little hands lifted high

amidst a crowd of disbelief

eyes that see a mountain move

Before it came to be

Mouths that speak in certain truth

of things I cannot see

And feet that jump, dance, and move

To heaven’s own heartbeat.

A child, crowned in victory

That is what I see.

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