Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who's Watching the Kids? ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who's Watching the Kids? ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

A pipe bomb went off at an elementary school in a town near us. Earlier that week there had been another school shooting in the country.

For me, these events pressed the question "What can I do to ensure my children's safety?" This led to a larger question: "What can I do for the world's children, who seem so vulnerable?"

I can help my kids see ways to watch out for trouble, but trying to teach them everything, or to physically protect them at every moment, is impossible. Metal detectors, locks, security patrols, and gun control legislation all have their limits of effectiveness.

To get to the root of the problem, I've been digging in to learn how to pray better.

For me, that has meant finding out more of who God is. It's becoming clearer that God isn't some big human. God is Love. Love surrounds my children. God is the only power. All-knowing. All- powerful. All-loving. Even just beginning to grasp these facts, I see the way out of fear.

I'm also learning to pray by understanding better who my children really are. The Bible says, "The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4). This describes the spiritual identity of all people, including children.

I strive to identify my children not as my mortal offspring, but as the very likeness of Spirit. But sometimes I feel resistance to really accepting this spiritual view of them - resistance in the form of fear for their safety, but also in the form of my own selfish love, pride, or desire to feel needed and important. Maybe I think being too spiritual will prevent me from enjoying all the cute things my kids do, or miss out on the fun we have.

But in fact, seeing that my children are truly God's children has only added to the fullness of our relationship. I feel so much better knowing that I am truly assisting in their safety by understanding God's protection of them. I am praying for them by keeping in mind that safety is an innate gift from God.

This relates even to safety from sickness. Recently our family was visiting relatives for Thanksgiving. Several people were sick with a contagious, nasty virus. …

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