“Heart and Soul”
The hymn, When Mothers of Salem Their Children Brought
to Jesus, by W.M. Hutching, circa 1850, was a standard in Sunday Schools in
the 1960’s, and probably long before. When mothers of Salem their children brought
The stern disciples drove them back and bade them depart; But Jesus saw them ere they fled, And took them in His arms and said, “Suffer the children to come unto Me. For I will receive them and fold them to My bosom…” And every 8 year old boy giggled uncontrollably until the Sunday School teacher could, with a glance, shush them.
There was an era, that of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’, when children were to be ‘seen but not heard’: meek, submissive and dutiful. It is to be hoped that most would now agree that our contemporary culture, while still teaching our little ones about responsibility, respect, and discipline, now understand the word ‘childlike’ to speak of other attributes as well. The gifts of wonder, trust, of questioning and imagination and of joy come immediately to mind. As Christian parents, members of a parish, neighbours and friends, we can model that behavior and witness to how God is glorified in it. “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And Jesus took them up in his arms and blessed them.” Mark 10:14-16 (also Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:13-15) Note: In that era ‘physical distancing’ was not required!
In these days of isolation, seek out ways, at home, of letting God’s child within you find expression. This is not necessarily the youngster, or adolescent, of your own personal history. That might prompt painful memories. Seek out God’s cherished child within you.
I watched a rom com, a ‘chick flick’ all about true love. I had a good cry. It was cathartic. I I turned up the volume on an old song from my pre-teen years and sang along with its upbeat tune…do it ‘n do do, feelin’ groovy… I cut a few branches from the shrubs around our home and ‘forced them’ to send out their bright green leaves. When cleaning out an old book case I found A.A. Milnes’ When We Were Very Young and enjoyed reading a few pages(The King asked the Queen and the Queen asked the Dairymaid, “Could we have some butter for the Royal slice of bread?”), hearing in my memory’s soundtrack the sound of my father’s voice. We made cinnamon buns, which filled the house with baker’s incense and served as a sweet accompaniment to ‘tea time’. Find out what works for you and embrace God’s beloved child.