Grace and peace to each of you in the name of the one who cannot fail, Jesus the Christ!
Psalm 127: 3 “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.”
Tomorrow “Hank the Tank” turns 7. It is hard to believe that 7 years have flown by since this awesome little dude entered my life. He has lived 3/4 of his life at POG. You are the village he remembers and loves. To say the Tank has been a blessing in my life is an understatement. He, with his child like faith and hope in people, makes me a better person each and every day. He is, by far, the most compassionate person I have ever met. And remember, he is only turning 7!
Children are a blessing. That much is certainly true. Though children can be trying at times, the gift that they give to those who are fortunate enough to care for them is priceless. I am constantly awed at the depth of the Tanks faith, of how he hopes for and expects the best of people, and tries the best he can to be good and kind to all those he comes in contact with.
As we approach his birthday tomorrow, I am feeling uneasy about the state of the world he is growing up in. The latest act of violence in South Carolina is swimming in my brain as I reflect on the world in which I introduced the Tank to, a world of brokenness and despair. And, if I am honest, I wonder what in the world I was thinking when I helped to bring him into this existence we call life? How could I subject him to this life of senseless acts and cowardly behavior? What in the world was I thinking?
I have also spent some time this week, with my own birthday so fresh in my mind, reflecting of what my parents must have been thinking 47 years ago when I was being introduced to the world. War was raging in Viet Nam and Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had both recently been assassinated. I wish my parents were alive today so I could pick their brains as to how they felt about bringing new life into a broken world? I would love to ask them where they found their hope?
In the midst of it all, I read the beautiful worlds of the Psalmist, “children are a blessing and gift from the Lord.” And in that message I see hope. Hope that the world that my children will live into might figure out how to live together absent of all the violence and rage that oozes into our society. Hope that the way this next generation will engage things will trump the way generations before have processed things, erring on the side of grace and compassion instead of hatred and violence. That the message of Christ, repentance and grace will influence them in such a way that these senseless tragedies will be no more.
With gifts of God like Hank the Tank, I have hope. It is in that hope that I own some responsibility in seeing to fruition. I will continue to nurture and groom Hank in the faith that has helped to sustain me all these years of my life. I will continue to hope that the children, which are such blessings in our lives, will finally figure out a way of being toward one another that has alluded the generations that have gone before. I have hope because I know people like Hank the Tank. And, at least for me, that is good news.