What Children Can Teach Us

I had the joy of spending last week with my daughter and four of my grandchildren, ages 11-14. In their short lives, they’ve experienced what seems to me an unusual amount of loss due to death.  Several family members and friends have died from cancer.  I wondered how they were coping with these losses.

To my delight, I discovered that one of my grandsons was able to process these sad events through writing poetry. He shared several of his poems with me. The titles were “Death”, “Darkness”, “Hope”, and “Shine Your Light”. His poetry was extremely insightful and full of hope. I felt awed by his beautiful faith. 

How foolish and ignorant we are when we think that we must hide the hard realities of life from children. By not letting them know about pain, sorrow, and death, we may think that are protecting them. Who are we protecting?

Could it be that we, ourselves, are not willing to think about these things?  Certainly we must  use discretion about sharing details with our children. However, they have ears and they can hear. They have eyes and they can see. 

Aware of the trusting faith that they have, Jesus reminded us that we need to learn from them. He said,”Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in” (Mark 10:15 MSG).

I was reminded of these truths by my precious grandson. I was encouraged by his faith and inspired to write the following verse of response to his poems.  

Grandma’s Choice
To live each day as if it were my last
I’d have to give up all of my past—

All of my failures and every success;
Then, with the sunrise, I could start afresh.

Looking up to God who’s given me breath—
Asking him to show me the very best path—

I’d be ready to grow and eager to learn.
I’d be free to love, and I’d wait my turn.

I would face each challenge with childlike faith—
Worry no more about making a mistake.

Confident of a reward in heaven,
I would gladly share what I’ve been given.

At the day’s end, I’d say a “Thank You” prayer
And slip into dreamland without a care.

To live each day as if it were my last
I’d better start now! Time is moving fast.

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