When Did She Get to be a Beauty, When Did He Grow to be So Tall?
May 11, 2003
My daughter rushed into the kitchen this morning to say goodbye before she went somewhere with a friend. She was wearing a sky blue T-shirt with a tropical style skirt, her honey colored hair streaming down her back. Even though she is only twelve and a half, I was struck by her beauty. God masterfully takes the cuteness of children and with subtlety, transforms them into little gods and goddesses. Their energy and promise is moving and inspiring.
I think back to my unsure, awkward teenage years, full of unbridled desire to do something great, and yet not knowing where I was headed. My good, dear parents, from the Greatest Generation, did their part during World War II. They provided for me a safe upbringing and instilled in me love of country, love of nature, and love of humanity. Bidding my brother farewell when he joined the army, and attending my own high school graduation, was like being on one side of the looking glass, and now at 47 with growing children, it's like looking through from the other side - a virtual verse from the song, "Circle Game", by Joni Mitchell.
Dear friends of ours recently celebrated the marriage of their oldest daughter. It seemed this young girl was directing the children's epic Bible skits at church just a few weeks ago, and now she's a married woman just back from a honeymoon in the mountains.
I was about 20 the first time I heard this quote from Kahlil Gibran,
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. "I was thrilled at the thought of being one of those arrows. Now we are bows and our arrows may fly far into a future we may not live to see. As our children develop, we agonize about what we can do to help them along their way. In spite of our limitations, God pours Himself into them in ways unseen.
We do public speaking as part of our homeschool curriculum. Usually we ask the children to speak for two minutes on any topic they want. We've heard two minute speeches about bicycles, sports and even one about lamps!
This week Peter asked each of our kids to give a two minute spontaneous talk on what kind of man or woman they want to be when they grow up, and how they feel about God. Our daughter, Gracie, began. She spoke about how much she feels God's love through her family, her church friends and the creation. She said she wanted to take care of people and love people all her life.
Ranin, 11, said he felt by getting close to the animals he could feel God. He talked about wanting to be a man of kindness, and to work close to the creation. Little Tadin, 8, said he felt bad when he hurt people by accident, and never wanted to do that when he grew up. He became totally choked up and began to cry about wanting to be able to love people.
Tymon grinned a lot when it was his turn, he's 14. But when he finally composed himself he also talked about being a true friend and a good husband someday, and loving God and about the miracle of the creation. Peter and I were both very moved at their spontaneous remarks.
Sometimes arrows miss their mark, but they can be gathered up and shot again. Once God shoots the arrows through us, we should have confidence in His ultimate aim.
Originally published in May, 2002
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
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