“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” – Psalm 8:2
My wife and I, along with our kids, laughed ourselves to sleep late last Sunday night as we read and studied Scripture together. We’ve started a regular devotion in preparation for Christmas. As is the case with our Bible studies, the topics tend to veer off in many different directions. We blame it mostly on Jed, our son, who asks the most probing questions – and also comes up with the funniest of answers. That Sunday night, he and his younger sister, Naomi, began a barrage of questions that tested my resolve [and even patience] to answer them.
One of the questions Jed asked was, “Why did God make the earth round?” Before I can even form a response worthy of a pastor-dad, he quickly answers his own question. He blurts out, “If the earth was flat, I think we can walk better!” I laughed so hard, I felt the oxygen in my body was severely depleted! Everyone laughed hysterically as well. I started asking my own questions to lead our kids to an appreciation of how wonderful, mighty God is. I asked, “What do you know about snowflakes?” Of course, I was expecting that they will all unanimously say something like “no two snowflakes are the same” or “each snowflake is unique”. Naomi then says, “Snowflake is God’s favorite colour!” I then had to ask, “What colour is snowflake?” Without delay, she says, “Sparkling silver!?”
Watch out! Some of these answers will end up in future sermons! My wife and I needed to laugh together with our kids. Their laughter is one of those that I am truly grateful for in my life. I’ve been taking some health supplements of late to fight off something that’s been brewing inside of me as a result of the transition into colder weather when all sorts of illnesses start to affect everyone. Last Sunday night, my family’s laughter gave me a good dose of healing. The jury may still be out about laughter being a cure, but the laughter we shared in the midst of studying God’s word – and in His presence – brought me closer to complete healing. I’m sure my wife will say the same.
Over the last week or so, families – parents with their kids – spent some time together buying and stuffing shoebox-sized cartons as part of GCF Peel’s support of “Operation Christmas Child”. Overall, GCF Peel managed to collect 45 stuffed boxes that will reach homes and children all over the world by Christmas time. Thank you GCF Peel! Thank you, Lord, for prompting hearts and homes. Thank you, Lord, that this probably gave families a time of fellowship; a time to be grateful; a time to exercise grace and compassion as we all thought of others. As my family ventured throughout the store to get items to put into these boxes, I know we all imagined children opening these containers of surprises with smiles on their faces. And as they read the notes of love our children had placed inside, we imagine that hope will be kindled in the midst of whatever challenges they’re going through in their part of the world.
The investment of kindling hope in the hearts of children everywhere; planting in them the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ may not be enough to stop violence and wars from taking place, but it’s a good place to start. Our youngest one, Naomi, kept calling these packages and the effort behind itbecausetion Child Box”. Her siblings remind her that it is wrong. As for me, it’s perfect. Those boxes have been filled not just with substance but with the soul of a child who wishes to touch another from a distance. Let’s pray that as the recipient children open these, the Spirit of the Living God will touch their own with the salient compassion of these children wishing them well this Christmas and beyond. I think Naomi’s version, “Operation Child Box”, is just fine, because I pray that the child-like spirit behind it will continue beyond the Christmas season.
“In the eyes of a child there is joy, there is laughter. There is hope, there is trust, a chance to shape the future…” – The Eyes of a Child, Air Supply