Helping Children

LAWMAKERS in my home state recently took steps that they feel will help to ensure that children get better care. Yet the media are presenting us daily with news about children who are starving, children who are being abused, maltreated, neglected, abandoned, yes even killed. As our hearts go out to children in need of help, we ask ourselves: ``What can we do?''

How should we go about helping these children? Where do we start? I had been praying to find ways that I could help when I realized that probably all of us have at one time or another ex-perienced the power of qualities we would associate with children. Childlike qualities, such as innocence, joy, receptivity, spontaneity, fearlessness, brotherhood, have real power to change--and improve-- our experience.

Have you, for example, ever been stuck in traffic? I have! And I found that singing my favorite songs, expressing joy, took away my frustration and tension. That's what joy can accomplish!

As I then prayed about what I could do to help the world's children, I saw that if I cared about children and wanted to help them, I could start by nurturing childlike qualities in myself! I could start immediately. I could nurture joy by refusing to get agitated, angry, or frightened.

These thoughts reminded me of the comment a four-year-old once made to me when we talked about the power of God in a Christian Science Sunday School class. He said, as I remember it: ``God shows us His power by healing us. He gives us His power to make us strong. He gives it to us when we need help. He gives us His power through an open door. This opening is prayer.'' He really had grasped and felt prayer as a power to heal! I am still touched by this inspiring thought to see prayer as an open door for God's power. The simplicity of it makes me yearn to be more childlike myself and to walk through life with more trust, more love for God and my fellowman. Christ Jesus promised, John's Gospel records, ``Your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you'' (16:22).

Childlikeness naturally includes Christliness. It pours into our heart the grace of Christ. And Christliness is that spiritually based love that goes out to bless all and doesn't worry about being returned. It is grounded in divine Love, God. What an effective source of strength this is in our endeavor to help the world's children! Such love can't do a little and then walk away. It reflects the divine, infinite, ever-present, all-powerful Love that is God! And it demands our full hearts, our dedication, our whole being. Are we willing to give that much?

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains Christ in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She writes: ``Christ. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error'' (p. 583). Jesus, who expressed the Christ so fully that we know him as Christ Jesus, loved children. And the Bible also assures us that, no matter what age, we all are children of God. Paul, in a letter to the Galatians, points out, ``For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus'' (3:26). As children of God we are indeed able to express the innocence, trust, joy, and spirituality of childlikeness. Doing this not only makes us more effectively responsive to those needs; it will help to stop the suffering of the world's dear children and bring healing to their--and all mankindhardships and illnesses.

Yes, we can help the children of the world by deeply loving and cherishing the child of God that each of us is. By expressing more gratitude, more kindness and understanding to each other. Loving God will show us how to keep ourselves and the children of the world happy, healthy, and free.

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