Sunday, October 13, 2013
You may have seen the horrific story on the sports' websites on Friday concerning the two year old son of Minnesota Vikings running back and last year's NFL MVP, Adrian Peterson. The little boy died in South Dakota, allegedly at the hands of the mother's boy friend who has been charged with aggravated assault. The accused has a history of domestic violence. The sports world and the world in general has reacted, predictably, with messages of condolence and shock at this senseless death. And as always, the rational among us ask in bewilderment, who would hurt a child?
Tonight after worship, we had a time of fellowship with two of our sisters speaking of mission trips to China as we ate sandwiches and cookies. I sat with Juliette, one of my former players who has just moved back to Houston and is starting college. Juliette was entranced by Joseph, the son of our Chinese preacher and his wife. Joseph, who is about two, was wandering around like little boys do and Juliette went over and sat down on the floor to have some face time with her new buddy. As we walked out, she told me Asian children are so cute, a statement with which I heartily concur. And it reminds me as I sit here and type, the last five words of my opening paragraph:
who would hurt a child?
Yesterday morning found me in Jos. A Bank for one of their buy one, get two free sales. My personal shopping guru, Silvia, was with a customer so I browsed. All of a sudden, there was the cutest little girl I've ever seen standing by me, and my guess is that she was about two. She was babbling a little bit but she came up and took me by the hand and started walking. What choice did I have? I followed.Her mom profusely apologized but I told her it was quite all right. She led me to a display of discounted shirts and there, of all people, I saw Brian Burney who I went to church camp with in Kearney, Nebraska as a kid! You know what the little princess did, don't you? She grabbed Brian's hand, too! Her mom came up again, apologized again, and told us it would be a struggle when she is a teen! But it was a safe and closed environment and the tiny angel made my day, even though her mom, who must have been shopping for her husband, was convinced Brian and I were somehow inconvenienced by her child's affectionate nature. It made my day; well, along with the Cornhuskers thrashing Purdue and getting three sweet shirts at a great price!
As I often do, I added a picture at the top of these devotional thoughts. It's not clip art tonight or a celebrity at an early age- it's my brother, Scott, at roughly age two as best I can piece it together. From the setting, I can tell we were in Michigan at our Hawley grandparents' home. I wanted my thoughts to be more personal tonight and to do that for me, I had to put a familiar face to the story. I don't want to pass judgment on a case I know nothing about and I hope the suspect gets a fair trial as we are all guaranteed under our Constitution. But we always need the reminder of what Jesus said about little ones; that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them; that their angels see the face of the Father; that causing them to stumble is a sin so great the penalty should be horrific; that we must humble ourselves like little children if we want eternal life. And yet, too many in the world ignore the Savior's teachings and have devalued this most precious gift from the Lord. May God have mercy on the innocents who cannot protect themselves from evil. We cannot turn a blind eye to those who need us the most.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Little children are still the symbol of the eternal marriage between love and duty."
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:12 PM