I’ll never forget what the first few nights were like when our daughter Molly was born and we brought her home from the hospital. I stood over her crib for hours each night watching her breathe. My thoughts were one constant prayer: Lord, bless this child.
Almost a year later I’ve gotten over watching her sleep, but my prayer hasn’t changed. When she coughs, when her nose is runny, when she’s sick, when she falls, when she cries, and even when she’s happy and healthy, I pray unceasingly: Lord, bless this child.
On Friday, every parent who ever brought a kid home from the hospital, along with all the other aunts, uncles, relatives and friends, felt their hearts drop into their stomachs. We make certain assumptions in life and one of them is that school is a safe place for children. Confronted with the unfathomable evil of Friday is enough to challenge faith, drown hope and arouse anger. In the midst of deep emotions I’m sure most of us thought of the children in our lives and prayed fervently: Lord, bless this child.
I don’t have easy (nor any) answers about what happened in Connecticut. But where pastors and politicians struggle for the right words, God speaks…
The Psalmist writes, “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear though the earth be moved and the mountains shake in the depths of the sea.” – Psalm 46
The evangelist declares, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” – John 1:5
The Apostle proclaims, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” … And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and he blessed them. – Mark 10:13-16
In the midst of your own confusion, anger and grief hold on to Jesus’ words and promise. See, in scripture Jesus does bless children. He says the Kingdom of God is for children. He even says that children have angels which continually gaze upon the Father (Matthew 18:10). There is a place in Jesus’ heart and God’s kingdom for all children. Nothing and no one will ever change that.
While we now work ever more diligently to provide a safe world for all God’s children to grow up in, our prayer to God echoes louder than ever: Lord, bless this child.