Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
A Word of Hope
Today we observe National Care for Kids Day. To anyone who is the primary caregiver to a child, every day is care for kids day, but as a society, especially for those that don’t have this direct responsibility day in and day out, it is important to take some time to think about the important role children play in our community and our inherent responsibility as adults to this next generation.
Children today are forced to deal with “adult” problems much earlier than I remember encountering such things. Is this because as adults we are failing to protect the youngest and most vulnerable among us? It seems like children, and many of the greater issues surrounding their care-education, healthcare, safety, have been reduced to nothing more than political pawns. So many of the current debates among our politicians attempt to pull at our heartstrings by purporting that their positions are in the best interest of our youngest citizens.
I find it amusing that diametrically opposed opinions, whether it be gun control, abortion, school funding, or mask mandates for school children, all claim to be the most caring options for our children. I am not trying to debate these issues, but rather to say, as adults, we need to do better for our children. They are not bargaining tools for our selfish ways. They are precious gifts given to all of us by God. It is our job, all of us, to nurture, protect, and sustain them. That is what God calls each of us to do every day. This is not always an easy job, but it is always an important and non-negotiable one.
Recently in our small group, we opened our gathering with meditation on the 1985 song “We are the World” written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, and which was recorded by many of the top superstars at the time. The proceeds from the song were donated to United Support of Artists for Africa. The goal of these monies was to provide food and relief to the starving people of Africa, particularly Ethiopia. In 2010, after the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, musicians again came together to record “We Are the World,” with some revised lyrics, to raise money for the people of Haiti.
The words of the song are timeless. In fact, Lionel Richie has suggested that it again be recorded as we all navigate the COVID pandemic.
The opening verse and refrain say it all…
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on
That someone, somewhere soon will make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.
Indeed, it is “time to lend a hand to life, the greatest gift of all.”
Oh God, parent of us all, I pray that I will open my heart to all of your children so they will know that someone cares. I pray that I will do my part to make their lives strong and free. I pray that I will always be willing to lend a helping hand. Amen.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare