The Sacredness of Children


I believe children are the most sacred aspect of  life.  Sacred means to make holy. The moment of a child is conceived is holy, even if the parents don’t realize it at the time.  To create a life is divine.

Often, when I describe the word sacred, I cradle my arms as if I were holding a baby.  I ask the children in my class, “Do you remember what it feels like to hold a baby?”  These children nod their heads as they cradle their arms.  That is what the word sacred feels like.  What does sacred feel like to you?

I once heard an older woman tell a little baby, ” You are so soon from God.” I had never heard this expression before, so I asked her what she meant.  She explained that babies come from heaven and God, so they are the closest we come to God while we are on the Earth.   She took my breath away with what she had said.  Her truth left a silence and stillness in the air.

My life revolves around children. I am blessed to have conversations every day with these little angels we call children.  Children have a natural spirituality.  They have an authentic sense of truth that I have sometimes forgotten as an adult.

Things are very simple to children.  They say,” I am hungry.” ” I am cold.” “That’s not fair.”  It is their directness and simplicity of words that I have grown to love.  As children grow older, their simplicity  and their connections to this natural truth and to God become complicated,   I knew God as a child, but as I grew up I was taught that I did not know God.  “No one can know God.”

Along the way, I lost my natural spirituality.  Being around children has help be rediscover my own natural spirituality as an adult.

Children add the extraordinary to my life.  I was substituting for a class one day, sitting at the teacher’s desk correcting first-grade spelling tests.  A little boy came up to me , just a little taller than my desk.  He just stood there looking at me. The rest of the kids were talking noisily at their desks.

So the little boy, came a little closer to me and as I bent over, he quietly whispered  to  my ear ,  “I am sad.”    His words took my full attention.  I gently  put my  pen down and turned to face him.  He was truly distraught,

I caught his gaze and looked deeply in to his eyes and asked, “Why are you sad?”  He said fearlessly, stoically like a little man, ” My daddy shot his girlfriend in the neck and killed her. He ‘s in jail now.”   We just kept  looking at each other, and the silence fell between us.   I slowly nodded my head in agreement and he nodded his head in return.

At first, there no words to say.  I couldn’t take my eyes off this beautiful little boy who had just spoken the most profound words.

Eventually the words  mystically came ,  “No matter what anyone tells you, no matter what happens the rest of your life.  I want you to remember this: God takes the best from mommies and daddies, and makes children.  You are the best of your mother and father. ”   With that he silently nodded, and went back to his seat.

Later that afternoon,  I was standing in the playground on duty during recess and the same beautiful little boy came up to me with a beautiful little girl that looked identical to him.  He pulled on my cream-colored blouse, and looked up at me and said twice, ” Tell my sister what you said.  Please tell my sister what you said. ”

The tears immediately welled up in my eyes, and I bent down to look into her beautiful tiny face and said. ” No matter what anyone tells you , no matter what happens the rest of your life.  I want you to remember this, God takes the best from mommies and daddies and makes children.  You are and will always be the best of your mommy and daddy.”  The little boy and the little girl looked at each other and walked away holding each other’s hands.

Our children hear and see everything. They are resilient and amazing.  In their quiet thoughts, they do their best to make sense of adult behaviors.

Children love their parents unconditionally.  I will always remember the love I felt in the little boy’s words for his father and the love he had for his sister as he led her around the playground that spring afternoon.  As I watched them walk away, I heard that quiet still voice in my head say, “They are so soon from God.”