Romans 12:1… “I beseech ye therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice….”

Little children are often fascinated with belly buttons. When my son was six years old, he lifted up his shirt one day and seriously investigated his belly button. “Mommy,” he asked, “why do I have a belly button?”

“It’s where you and I were hooked up to each other when you were in my belly,” I explained.

“Why were we hooked up?”

“It’s how you got your blood and your oxygen from me. It’s how I fed you.”

He smiled, “Now you feed me in the kitchen.”

Still Tethered

The cord may have been cut between me and my little boy long ago, but as he pointed out, not much has changed. I’m still the one feeding him, talking to him, helping him, healing him (even if it’s just a kiss on a hurt.) We are still irrevocably tethered. The same is true for my other children. Invisible cords of connection stretch out from me to them; nourishing them, sustaining them, and feeling them to detect problems.

When I was pregnant I thought I would be relieved to have them out here in the world free of the threat of miscarriage or of my harming them somehow with what I was eating or what I was doing. Once they were born, though, the weight of responsibility intensified. Because now, not only are these children at the mercy of my possible clumsiness, they are at the mercy of every word I speak to them, every choice I make for them. Their spiritual survival now depends on these invisible cords tethering them to me as they watch my life, listen to my words and (help me, God) follow my footsteps.

The same is true for any child we bond with, be it our own children or other children to whom we minister.

“Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” We parents, teachers and ministers are a living, breathing source of energy and nourishment that children are feeding off of every day. While we are doing the visible tasks of caring for them, God, help us also remember today that our words, our compassion, and our empathy will keep them alive emotionally and spiritually.

You will forever be tethered to the children you love. Nourish them well.

Sarah Reeves

You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.

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