Saturday, June 5, 2010

"But You've Lived"

Madeleine L’engle asks if holding back our children, to keep them safe, is what we really want: “But do we want unmarked children? Are they to go out into the adult world all bland and similar and unscarred? Is wrapping in cotton wool, literary or otherwise, the kind of guidance we owe them?” Do we really want children who are safe but heartless, protected with padding we provide and shaded by the umbrella we carry over them, so they can watch the world happen?

L’Engle goes on to tell about what a different, and delicious, life her mother had:

"My mother lived a wild kind of life in her day. She may be a grande dame now, but in her youth she rode camels across the desert, watched ancient religious rituals from a Moslem harem, was chased by bandits down the Yangtze River. During one time of crisis, her best friend, who grew up as unscarred as it is possible to grow, came to offer help and sympathy, and instead burst into tears, crying, “I envy you! I envy you! You’ve had a terrible life, but you’ve lived!”

Don’t we want our children to have courage to live the abundant life God has for them?

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