God’s children

Naomi, who writes at Little Red Hen put an interesting comment on my blog post about Looking on the Bright Side. She suggests that the challenge for older people is to find ways to be positive with our children and grandchildren. And in a way it is true for the lead that Oldies can give in these difficult economic times.

Interestingly from my point of view, I have been using a meditation for the duration of this past week on God’s children. The following is quite a long quote, from Kahlil Gibran, but it is well worth printing out here in full; he is speaking about children.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

I realise this may be a difficult quote for those who have no children of their own, but I feel that it stands on a broader perspective for all of us as we mature. We can give our gifts of reassurance and calm blessing to those who come after us. This is what it means to accept that we are all God’s children. The meditation (from my favourite Sacred Space) goes on to say that we are to be calm, reliable, showing a steady love in our own lives, and to offer our children what Jesus offered: time, love, stability, and a readiness to bless.

From a personal point of view, I had happily been going along thinking of this quote in the context of young children, but it gradually dawned that it equally applies to grown children too. They need blessing and calm assurance. In fact when you look at things logically, a bit of spreading quiet love and blessings is a good thing for all of us. I would be interested in hearing what you think.

Blessings on you and your loved ones this Sunday.

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5 Responses to God’s children

  1. Marcia Mayo says:

    Freda, what a beautiful lesson for a Sunday morning and one I need as I’m in the midst of my kids and my proximity worry. The Gibran line that meant the most to me was: You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.

    It’s funny, but I’m working on something I’m calling All God’s Children, but my thoughts are more about how people find a way to survive and even thrive even though they are “different” or even disabled.

    Thanks for your thinking and writing.

  2. freda says:

    Thank you, Marcia, I love the idea of writing about how people thrive even though they are “different” – for me, my faith cannot encompass the idea of a God who does not love all his children. I’ll look out for your piece on All God’s Children.

  3. Jimmy says:

    “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
    This is a good line. I know parents who never want their children
    to become adults or escape the quiver.

  4. freda says:

    So do I, Jimmy, and I know some for whom the whole business of letting go is full of fear.

  5. chris says:

    Great quote – thanks for sharing it. Right now, it’s my wholly grown children who are causing me anxiety, and I need to remember I’m only the bow!

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