This is a phrase from the description in the book of Isaiah about the peaceable kingdom…a place where
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
There are other places in the Bible where it talks about our need to have a child-like faith. Not a childish faith, but a child-like one.
As I’ve been watching the news recently, I’ve found myself pondering what it means to have that child-like faith.
Children tend to believe they can do anything. The words we adults use often encourage that belief.
- If you want to do it badly enough, you can.
- You can be (or do) anything you want.
- Whether you think you can’t or think you can, you’re right.
And so for them, nothing is impossible.
We adults are often jaded. We are tired from the struggle. We see that life is not as simple…not as black and white…as we thought when we were younger. And so we often find that some things are impossible.
But we need the energy and “impossible” faith of youth. They are the ones who force us to face our fears…who challenge us to make our world better. They don’t take “no” for an answer…and because they don’t, we discover that the “impossible” things really are possible.
Who are some of these children who have challenged us?
- Joan of Arc – led an army to free her country during the Hundred Years War. She was just 19 when she was killed.
- Sophie Scholl – fought against the Nazi regime and was killed when she was 22.
- Anne Frank – kept a diary while in hiding from the Gestapo that has become a haunting memoir of both the evil around but also a faith in the goodness of people. She died in a concentration camp when she was 16.
- Ruby Bridges – was the first African-American child to enter a segregated elementary school when she was 6.
- Hector Pieterson – fought against apartheid in South Africa and was killed when he was 13.
- Iqbal Masih – escaped from forced child labor in Pakistan and fought against child labor and for the right of children to receive an education. He was killed when he was 12.
- James Chaney (21), Andrew Goodman (20), and Michael Schwerner (24) – three civil rights workers who were killed as they were helping African-Americans to register to vote
- Malala Yousafzai – defied the Taliban to campaign for the right for girls to be educated. She was shot in the head when she was 15 but survived and has become an advocate for human rights.
- Greta Thunberg – has become a global leader for environmental issues, leading protests against global warming at age 16.
We need their passion…their energy…their hope for a better future.