A BOOK that a friend gave me has colorful photographs of children from every continent around the globe. Pictures like these remind us that people, and children in particular, are the world's most valuable resource. Resilience, spontaneity, affection, and innocence are natural to children.All of us actually possess these qualities. True, they sometimes get buried; yet essentially they remain and will be recaptured as we cherish the childlike in ourselves. Finding our own childlike qualities is essential if we are to relate intelligently to children and foster their well-being more intuitively and effectively. Christians have always acknowledged Christ Jesus' love for children. Once Jesus used a little child as an example when the disciples asked him who is greatest in God's kingdom. As Matthew's Gospel states, Jesus said, "Whosoever . . . shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. However, we are apt to think of children as vulnerable to all kinds of misfortune. Yet this is not really Christ Jesus' message about children. The Master saw a strength and wisdom in the qualities children express. It is evident that Jesus knew from an early age that his relationship to God was central to his life purpose. That purpose was to heal, to free mankind from the conviction that man is frail and helpless, more or less enslaved by heredity, sickness, and sin. The Master taught his followers that in reality we are all loved children of one Father, made in His spiritual image and likeness, and that God is the source of man's health and well-being. As a Christian Scientist I was encouraged to pray whenever there was a need. I remember when I was about nine years old, how I reached out to God in prayer after an accident. I was with some friends. We were larking about, and I bicycled over the edge of a stone quarry; I landed on my head with the bike on top of me. The other children ran back to their house to find their father, who was a doctor. He was quite concerned. He took me back to the house and cleaned me up. I asked if I could be alone so that I could pray. He knew that our family were Christian Scientists, and he agreed. I remember that as I prayed I felt the comfort of God's love enveloping me. The sense of shock was quickly replaced with a calm assurance of well-being. Later when I was called to tea, I had fully recovered and ate heartily! Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, had a deep affection for children. It is recorded in her Miscellaneous Writings that once Mrs. Eddy addressed the members of her Church in this way: "Beloved children, the world has need of you,--and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. These are qualities that bring healing to human circumstances. As we cherish and utilize them, we recognize more of our own, and everyone else's, stature as members of God's family. Our spiritual insights, fervent prayer, and our progress in understanding and proving the Science of Christ will open up fresh ways to nurture the world's most valuable resource--its children. As we love enough to make a difference by demonstrating the Christ, Truth, day by day in our own lives, we are making a real contribution to the well-being of the world's children.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the July 8 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.