Note: Ben Johnson is the U.S. Bureau Chief for LifeSiteNews.com
Dec. 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an era when Christmas is under attack everywhere and children are more estranged from the facts – and the fruits – of the faith than ever before, a friend of mine passed along a heartwarming exception to the rule. Even more encouraging, it happened in – of all places – a public school.
My friend, who is a teacher in an elementary school, is raising a toddler on her own. Her daughter, like all toddlers, alternates between the cherubic and demonic by the moment, and my friend had considered not putting up a shiny Christmas tree with beckoning, destructible ornaments this year.
“I actually wanted to skip it altogether this year,” she told me. But her class decided that was not an option.
“Back in November,” she said, one of her students asked, “if I put up a tree yet. I replied I probably wouldn't do one this year since my place is a little small and my daughter would probably pull it over, anyway. I later found out that little girl went home and told her mom, 'Everyone needs a tree at Christmas.'”
She and her classmates decided this injustice had to be rectified.
“They got me this tree, made the decorations, and had it all set up in the school library to surprise me last week – complete with homemade gingerbread men under the tree, tiny wrapped presents for both me and my daughter, and stockings with our names on them and more decorations inside so we can put them on together,” my friend said in wonder.
“It moved me to tears,” she said. “I am sure it was the hand of God.”
I'm sure it was, too. The unseen hand of God passes through the world, imperceptible most of the time, mystically ordering all of creation from the furthest cosmos to the slimmest blade of grass. The comforting, caressing hand of God is often hidden, because it works through the hands of others – especially those most like Him: the innocent.
Children still have an innate goodness, sense of justice, and desire to help others not yet worn away by cynicism, relativism, and world-weariness. Confronted with a problem they can understand, they work together to relieve the trouble as much as they can. “Except ye become as little children,” Jesus said, “ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven” (St. Matthew 18:3).
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At times, I think the pro-life movement is like the children in my friend's classroom. When we hear that a child of God is considering skipping one of the most joyous events she could experience, we gather together to find ways to help her experience the blessing. We pool our resources and offer whatever a hurting mother most needs: prenatal care, a place to stay, diapers, formula, baby clothes, and an understanding ear to listen. We calm their fears, help them find their equilibrium, and tell them they have the strength to continue nurturing the life they have been blessed to create. And like my friend, what they once considered leaving behind, they find moves them to tears.
In a newborn child, they find the hand of Him Who became a Child for our sakes, and Whose tiny hands are supernaturally powerful enough to hold and comfort and save us and the whole world.