I regularly listen to children’s singalong tunes in my car. When tantrums happen, they seem to have a magical way of calming things down. The CD I have is often played on repeat, and is often kept playing while I mindlessly sing along long after I have dropped off my children at daycare. It’s catchy, okay?
One of the songs recently struck a chord with me. I have known it since childhood myself, but I think in the current events of our nation, we can all bear the reminder.
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world”. Not just the affluent children. Not just the well behaved children. Not just the children who have parents who raise them in the Christian faith. He loves the homeless man begging on the corner. He loves the refugees from other nations. He loves those who are in jail for committing terrible crimes. He loves us all. I have been raised to love and serve God, and I do not understand where along the line religion became something that people think entitles them to pass judgment. Do I have beliefs? Do I have opinions? Yes. Do I believe that those beliefs and opinions give me the right to dislike and criticize others who may not live their lives in the same way that I do? NO. Hate breeds hate, and that is not what we are here for. The God of the family who goes to church twice a week and attends bible study is the same God of the family that has never been to church, lives off of food stamps, but says their prayers nightly and thanks God for that food they are receiving. You do not get to be more Christian than another person. As a parent, we often find ourselves with one child who succeeds and strives for the best, and perhaps another child who scrapes by in school and acts up more often than we would like. And yet, we love both children equally and would do anything and everything for them. God wants us to help one another, serve one another, and love one another. I am by no means anywhere near perfect, and I imagine God looks at me often and thinks, “wow, she is making poor decisions. I do not like the way she does things”. And yet he chooses to love me, as fiercely and passionately as he loves all of his other children. So why should I do anything different?
Regardless of your religion, the frequency in which you practice your faith, or the number of times you pray per day, I hope that we can all choose to love, choose to support one another, and choose to know that we are all equal in His eyes. God is love, so let’s start to practice what we preach.