I’ve had many opportunities in life to observe children. Aside from the fact that I am ever-grateful for the blessings of always having children around (because I am strongly convicted they keep me young at heart) I am also thankful for the many lessons I learn from watching them live.
Scripture tells us that if we hope to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must become like little children. By nature, children are trusting, adventurous, honest, kind and joyful. (Virtues that often dwindle or vanish throughout various stages of adulthood.)
I love seeing the world through a child’s eyes. Take, for instance, the old-fashioned “cloud game” where you lie on your back in a field and tell what pictures you see in the clouds. If I’m lucky, my stunted-by-life-adult-vision might spot a fish or a dinosaur. Children, however, never cease to amaze me as they find, not only single images, but entire, unfolding stories in the clouds: “Oh! Look! There is a knight! He is about to battle that alien over there, to save his planet and all his people from final ruin. But, first, he needs to get the magic sword…see it? It’s waaaay over there, behind that rock!” Such high levels of creativity and senses of adventure provide food for my soul and often rejuvenate my tired spirit.
I recently read about a child that left a deep, lasting impression upon my heart. I now carry it with me, and tap into it if faced with challenging situations where serving others may involve great personal sacrifice.
The story unfolded when the child’s sister was undergoing surgery and an urgent situation developed. She needed an immediate blood transfusion of O-type blood. For some reason, the hospital had none available. It was a life and death matter. The doctor tested the little girl’s family members, and learned that her brother shared her blood type. He explained the situation, as best he could to the little boy, telling him of his sister’s great need. The boy said good-bye to his parents, then agreed to give his blood for his sister.
After the procedure, the doctor realized the little boy had actually agreed to give far more than just his blood. In fact, he thought he was laying down his very life for his sister. This became apparent to the doctor, when shortly after the transfusion was complete, the little boy asked him, “So, when will I die?”
The child’s act of complete love and selflessness amazed everyone, myself included. This innocent boy was asked merely to give some of his blood to save his sister’s life, but in his innocence and youth, thought he was being asked to exchange his own life for his sister’s, and had agreed, without reservation—had even paused, to say good-bye to his parents.
Scripture also tells us there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.
I’ve never met that little boy, but in my heart I thank him every day, and pray to be more like him.
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.