Thursday, October 11, 2007

Like a Little Child

Over the past week, my 14 ½- month-old has experimented with standing up in the middle of the room and taking one small step. At first that step was barely discernible, and I could barely take my eyes off her for fear of missing something important. Today she took two steps, sat down, stood up, then took six steps towards me. The gleam in her eyes showed she knew she was doing something amazing. Gladly I had all her siblings home to witness it. Later we tried to get her to do it for her father, but she refused to cooperate.

As proud she is to stand and take some steps, she is very happy crawling and does not hesitate to return to it. If she is standing and sees something she wants, she pauses, seeming to calculate the easiest way, then drops and crawls. Or, she might see that if she throws her body a bit in one direction, she can make it to the couch and thus avoid having to change her height status. If she has something she desires to carry along with her, she will do a sort of step-crawl, sitting on her rear and using one foot to get ahead.

The children have a ball when they all get down on their hands and knees and crawl around the downstairs in a circle – a central wall divides the three main rooms of the main level – gleefully she follows them around, squealing laughter as they carry on the “crawling races”.

That she does not discern her “lowliness” as a crawler from her altered stature as a walker represents the unselfconscious humility that God desires of us. Yes, He desires that we grow and mature in His Ways, but we are to retain a certain childlike quality while doing so. It is not as simple to do as it sounds.

“Just then the disciples came up to Jesus with the question,
‘Who is of greatest importance in the kingdom of God?’
He called a little child over and stood him in their midst and said:
‘I assure you, unless you change and become like little children,
you will not enter the kingdom of God.
Whoever makes himself lowly,
Becoming like this child,
Is of greatest importance in that heavenly reign.
Whoever welcomes one such child for my sake welcomes me.
On the other hand,
It would be better for anyone who leads astray one of these little ones who believe in me,
To be drowned by a millstone around his neck,
In the depths of the sea.”
Matthew 18:1-6

I have received a prayer request for someone who is putting her unborn baby in the position of utmost importance:

Dear Elizabeth,

Late last night, a friend called me with an urgent
prayer request.

As he described the situation, I realized how the young
mother's love profoundly demonstrates the spirit of 40
Days for Life.

While flying to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota this
afternoon, I felt compelled to share this, so you could
fervently pray for this family now, and during the rest
of 40 Days for Life...

Urgent prayers are requested for the health and
development of Baby John, unborn son of Stacey and Joe
Persichetti, as well as for health and strength of his
parents, and the wisdom of his doctors.

Stacey, the mother, was diagnosed with serious brain
cancer last fall and, during the course of chemo and
radiation treatment, discovered that she is pregnant.

Due to her treatment, the baby has been exposed to the
chemicals from day one.

She has been informed by her baby-related doctors that
the chemo is very strong and particularly attacks DNA
growth in cells and therefore the baby. The doctors
feel that there will be neurological damage to the
child, although the ultrasounds have thus far showed
relatively normal growth.

Additionally, her cancer-related doctors have told her
that they do not want her to stop treatment because her
cancer is so aggressive. They said that if she carries
the baby to 40 weeks gestation, she probably won't live
to deliver the child.

Rather than resort to the world's suggested "solution"
of an abortion, Stacey is taking a 10 week break from
her treatment to allow the baby to reach 28 weeks
gestation, when the doctors can deliver via C-section.

The bottom line: Stacey is risking her own life to give
her baby a chance to live, even though her child may
have complications resulting from the cancer treatment.

Scripture tells us, "There is no greater love than to
lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)

Stacey's selfless faith during this difficult time is
showing us -- and the whole world -- this greatest form
of love.

Let's dedicate our 40 Days for Life prayers and efforts
today in honor of Stacey, her husband Joe, and Baby
John, and let's show the world that same kind of love
as we selflessly work to protect all innocent children
in the womb and their mothers and fathers.

For Stacey, Joe, and Baby John,

David Bereit, National Campaign Director, 40 Days for

P.S.- The Persichetti family would be deeply touched to
know that you are praying for their family. Please take
a moment to leave a reply with your prayers for them at
the bottom of today's blog posting.

Watercolor painting above:
Christ Teaching His Disciples and Holding a Child.
Thomas Stothard, c 1780. Tate Gallery.

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