Innocence Unspoiled

Lately the weight of the world seems heavier than usual. I’ve been deeply saddened and distressed by people’s beliefs or lack thereof and the new found boldness there seems to be in expressing those views so openly, no matter how much it goes against God and all that is good.  The terrorist attack in Boston only made matters worse. Once again man’s propensity for evil took center stage in the darkest display of what amounts to a lack of respect for human life. Already feeling this weight before Monday, I wondered if maybe it was time for me to retract into my own bubble for a while. I began to wonder if it’s worth standing up if you’re only going to be beaten down.

Then came Tuesday.

I was invited to read my children’s book to seven classrooms of preschoolers. I agreed to this weeks ago, unaware of what my state-of-mind would be when the date rolled around.  God’s timing is incredible. What I saw — what I felt — has reignited a fire within. When is the last time you were with a 4 or 5 year old? They walked into the room, single file, careful not to make too much noise as their teacher guided them with her finger to her lips signaling quiet. They were dressed as their favorite storybook characters. I was in the presence of princesses, Superman, Captain America and even a lady bug just to name a few. They sat crisscross on a carpet square in front of me and I read my story. Their eyes widened as they listened to every word. The more animated I became; the more they smiled and laughed. And when the last page was read, they clapped for joy. I saw God in their faces — innocence untouched, unspoiled by the brokenness of the world.  Incredibly, the teachers thanked me for coming.

Driving away from the school I felt my strength returning.  The next time someone tells me that “abortion is a blessing” or that “God doesn’t listen to prayer because there is no God,” I may still be saddened, but I will not be defeated and I will not hide away. For every evil action; for every twisted belief, there are thousands of acts of kindness—millions who believe that life is to be fought for and protected. I know the end of this story. The rough chapters and dark characters cannot detour me.

When it feels like they are winning, I’ll  know what to do: I will look at the face of a child whose life was carefully knitted together with purpose in a mother’s womb. And I will marvel at the innocence unspoiled.

  • Another great post during a very difficult time. (You may have noticed I took a pass and posted another persons blog. Thanks for liking it.)
    Your story reminds me of Robert Coles’s The Call of Story,.In it he says stories contain wisdom that guides us
    throughout life. Stories both instruct and entertain; they are the best teachers because they are so easy to remember. The Bible, another book of stories, has been around for thousands of years and has been a best seller for centuries. Most of the Old Testament and all most all of the New are stories. After all these years we are still learning from them. We learned from your story too.

    Finally, last week I came across an Old American Proverb: Tell me a fact and I will learn; tell me truth and I’ll believe; but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
    There is still room in this old man’s heart for your story. I’ll treasure it! Thanks for sharing your new “enlightenment”, and don’t give up!

    • curtharding

      Thanks Par! Great comments. Wait, you’re old?

  • Amy

    Did you read about your cats? Kendall and I can do that one, from memory. We love Tale of Two Kitties! 🙂 I get to marvel at my 2, soon to be 3, then 4, then 5 and so on every day. I’ve been taking it for granted. Thank you for the perspective. My therapist recommends “beginner’s eyes”, looking at something you’ve seen before time and time again, like it is brand new. It is amazing how that will change an attitude. Thanks for this one!