Monday, November 14, 2011

the innocence and protection of a child - revisited

Spiritual resource to share:  power of purity

Last year about this time, facebook friends were asked to show their support for children and speak out against child abuse by posting their favorite cartoon character from their childhood. It was an invasion of memories!! What a blast to see who friends choose! And how fun to see one another as childlike! There is something pure about these cartoon characters that speaks to the purity in each of us.

I grew up being told that I was a child of God, and that this God is all powerful and all good. Now that I am much older, those first lessons have opened up a world of good to me.

Understanding our original relationship to God helped me to see what is changeless and what is all-powerful about me and about everyone. Purity is the basis of that relationship. And because it is from God, it is also powerful. Our innocence, then, is also our power. This is power that cannot be tainted, touched or manipulated. Purity is part of our original design.

This has been proved to me again and again. I did a lot of traveling as a college student through Latin America. And there were a number of situations where I experienced this protection. Whether it was in the middle of a military shakedown, as the only woman on a crowded bus, or driving along some treacherous roads, I was protected. Prayer was my constant companion during my travels, I can tell you!

But I have also seen this insistent prayer of purity rise up and be the impulse to protect friends of mine who had experienced abusive situations. Time and again, it was their purity which led them to find right solutions, and that led them to find the resources they needed. And in those cases where we prayed together, this same God-bestowed purity restored their confidence, gave them the realization that their spiritual identity (their only identity!) could never be touched, revealed their inherit nature as a child of God – totally loved and cherished, and gave them the courage to go forward with their lives.

Childhood and its accompanying joy, curiosity and goodness are everyone’s right. We can take this stand, full well knowing that we have divine authority to take a stand against violence. This song of King David, written in the book of Psalms, defines that authority that is timeless and timely.

Psalm 91 from the New Living Translation of the Bible

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.

For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.

He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.

For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.

They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

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