And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:13-16
A Mother’s Seeds
by Virginia Knowles
A mother sows seeds
Sows in hearts softened by sweet nurture
Seeds of myriad sizes, shapes, and sorts:
Truth, mercy, faith, repentance, salvation
Wisdom, praise, discipline, responsibility
Love, joy, peace
Here a seed, there a seed, everywhere a soul seed
No mother is purely saint, saintly pure
So subtle weed seeds slip from her packet too:
Bitterness, pride, impatience, sloth, doubt, scorn, fear
She may wisely snatch them up again right away
Before harm takes root in tender spirits
But some sink in and grow in spite
Later to be plucked out, or not
Yet she seeks to sow good seed in good soil
Not for the pleasure of plowing, digging. straining
Staining hands and knees with clay
Casting bloodied thorns and stubborn stones aside
Not for these trials she toils, bowed low
But for the hope, for the promise of the soul seed’s sole purpose:
Oh, for the fruit!
Working, watering, worrying, weeping, watching, waiting. wondering:
Will these tiny seeds fulfill destiny
First with green stem and fragrant blossom, and then fruit at last?
Or will they lie lifeless underground or shriveled on dry crust of earth?
Oh, did one, even just one, take root deeper and deeper in the divine deep?
Anchored by a sturdy, centering, downward shaft
With fragile spreading threads tangled outward, seeking sustenance?
Oh, for the fruit of those roots unseen!
So: more seeds! Sow more seeds! Sow and sow again!
Lord, make them grow!
For a mother must be faithful but He alone can bring forth fruit!
(Soli Deo Gloria! Gloria in Excelsis Deo!)
His fruit is sweet and succulent, swelling with more seeds
Later to be scattered far beyond her own field, season after season
Nations and generations shall witness her seeds and His fruit
Fruit from seed, and seed from fruit
From her home to His uttermost gardens
From her time to His eternity
For a mother’s heart sows well beyond her own wee plot
She mothers young and old, neighbor and sojourner
Her reach is far and deep, patient and persistent
Any seeking soul becomes her soil
She meets needs with diligent deeds
Bathes each one in warming rays of kindness and prayer
A mother’s heart sows these seeds then
Waters, works, watches, waits, wonders again and again
By faith, hope, and love, she reaps abundant harvests
When goodly, godly fruit is ripe at last!
Quotes from the book Life's Greatest Treasures: Writings About Discovering and Cherishing Children which was published by Hallmark in 1968:
Among the thousands of tiny things growing up all over the land, some of them under my very wing watched and tended, unwatched and untended, loved, unloved, protected from danger, thrust into temptation among them somewhere is the child who will write a great poem that will live forever and ever, kindling every generation to a loftier ideal. There is the child who will write the novel that is to stir men's hearts to nobler issues and incite them to better deeds. There is the child who will paint the greatest picture or carve the greatest statue of the age; another who will deliver his country in an hour of peril ; another who will give his life for a great principle; and another, born more of the spirit than the flesh, who will live continually on the heights of moral being, and dying, draw men after him. It may be I shall preserve one of these children to the race who knows? It is a peg big enough on which to hang a hope, for every child born into the world is a new incarnate thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility. ~~Kate Douglas Wiggin
"A Prayer for New Parents" by James Keller
O Lord, give us the wisdom ---
To deal with our children as You would,
To see in each of them Your Holy Image,
To develop in them a Christ-like love of all men, not only a select few,
To teach them to be go-givers rather than go-getters.
Oh God, in training these dear ones whom
Thou hast entrusted to our charge, help us ---
To encourage rather than discourage them,
To discipline with kindness not softness,
To guide them intelligently, not blindly,
To coach, not scold; to nudge, not nag.
Dear Lord, above all, help us ---
To use common sense in regard to their future,
To let them go gladly when the time comes,
To let them lead their own lives while following them with our love,
To pray always that they will be close to Thee,
not only for the few years of this life
but for the endless years of eternity.
A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most supercolossal of our supercargo planes, don’t compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devices and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable. ~~ Carl Sandburg
God sends children for another purpose than merely to keep up the race - to enlarge our hearts; and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affection; to give our souls higher aims; to call out all our faculties to extended enterprise and exertion and to bring round our firesides bright faces, happy smiles, and loving, tender hearts. My soul blesses the great Father, every day, that he has gladdened the earth with little children. ~~ Mary Howitt