Those little faces looking up to the stage, gasping when a related thought hits them hard, throwing up their arm for me to call on them stays with me. The talk this weekend was on fear and trust. And, as I performed the script for three children services, the kids listened and swung their arms high, wanting me to call on them, listen to their specific fear.
My script didn't call for participation at that point in the talk, but they were insistent arm wavers : "I have a fear that someone is going to walk up the stairs and get me and take me away from my mommy and daddy," said a six year old girl. "I have a fear of losing my sister," said another one. "I have a fear of falling off an airplane," a boy said. Waving arms of fear, gasping thoughts of the innocents filled the room. But I had to keep going, continuing on with the sermon, speaking of the issue of trusting God, giving him your fears, making a wise choice to trust Him. Their eyes glazed. Fears are quite specific, it seems. Something they understand early on. God is less detailed, fuzzy, difficult to sense in the same way. Will fear be supplanted by trust one day?
I hope, but why can't God be as tangible as fear to small children? Even now in their innocence, they feel especially vulnerable to terrible things. Waving arms of fright. Please listen, Teacher, and help us all in our anxious world, especially the young children, protecting them in every nation, because of your love, despite the fallen state, despite the horrible conflicts of man, despite a generational curse, despite a harsh environment. Suffer not the little children as you once willed. Please call on the children and comfort their arms and fears through tangible signs, proving yourself the stronger and more attentive force. Amen.