Sunday, September 11th, 2011
After the twin towers fell in New York, and crushed metal smoldered in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon was breached–after those unimagined things became real–we hardly let ourselves out of range of the continuing news reports and updates and human stories.
When Johnny and Talitha and I prayed together that night, it was clear what had gripped Talitha’s heart. In the midst of all the words that day, she heard one thing–that thousands of children were waiting futilely for their parents to return to them. That Tuesday evening and for weeks afterward, our tenderhearted 6-year-old had one request for God: “Please give the children new mommies and daddies.”
She didn’t realize that most of the children still had one parent. She didn’t realize that you don’t just up and get new parents. Or do you? What she did know from experience is that when we adopted her, God gave her a family.
For each of my children I have chosen a hymn that I sang specially for that child. When Talitha came to us, I pored over the hymn book looking for one that would sing into her the reality that she has a Heavenly Father who will never leave her or forsake her. I found it in Children of the Heavenly Father, by Lina Sandell.
Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.
God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.
Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.
Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.
Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.
Those parents on 9/11 had no intention of leaving their children, but it was out of their power. God is the Father who will not leave his children, because his love and power hold them close.
Talitha feels how much a child needs a parent. So do we all need a parent, and we know it when disaster strikes, even if we don’t really think about it otherwise.
“Neither life nor death shall ever from the Lord his children sever. Unto them his grace he showeth and their sorrows all he knoweth.” I pray that we know that to be true, all of us–Talitha, us adults, and the children of 9/11.
Join me at the Together for Adoption Conference, Oct 21-22, Phoenix, AZ (Pre-conference events, Oct 20)
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