Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” Ecclesiastes 12:1
THE THEOLOGY OF A CHILD
A very learned man once said to a little girl who believed in the Lord Jesus: “My poor little girl, you don’t know what you believe in. There have been many Christs. In which of them do you believe?” “I know which one I believe in,” said the child. “I believe in the Christ who rose from the dead.”
The new morality and freedom.
From classes, what a drag.
From Mom and Dad who are always arguing.
From homework, senseless hours.
From discipline, resented and useless.
From church, what a bore.
From conformity, a burden.
I’m my own woman now.
Made so by one decision.
One hour of love and pleasure.
I am free now to look at my cheerleading
sweater hanging in the closet.
My books and basketball schedule
resting on the shelf.
My material for a prom formal never made
as it sits amid the remnants
Of the fabrics left over from my maternity tops.
My metals from band and choir,
forsaken in the clutter of a jewelry box.
My friends passing by my window,
Laughing over the gossip
column in the school paper,
And giggling over who will be
the next to experience
the new morality – and freedom.
For cleaning. What a drag!
For him, always arguing.
For ironing senseless hours.
For dishes, useless.
For cooking, a bore.
For sex, now a dull duty, no longer a delight.
Oh God, if You are there,
Please let someone take this
crying baby off my hand.
And let my feet dance once more.
I am so old. And I was never young.
THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE
Of the all the major Crusades the most tragic was the attempt of the Children’s Crusade. In 1212 a German youth called Nicholas proclaimed that God had ordained him to lead a crusade of children to the Holy Land. The idea captured the imagination of the children. Thirty thousand young people (some girls dressed as boys) averaging twelve years slipped away from their parents to follow Nicholas. As they marched from Cologne, down the Rhine and over the Alps they sang:
“Fair are the meadows,
Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the pleasant garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
He makes the grieving heart to sing.”
Many died of hunger. Some stragglers were devoured by wolves. Thieves mingled with the marchers and stole money food, and clothing. The survivors reached Genoa in Italy only to discover that no ships would carry them to Palestine.
Pope Innocent III told the children as kindly as possible to go home. Some did but many stayed. In France, in the same year of 1212, a twelve year old shepherd named Stephen came to Philip Augustus and announced that Christ had appeared to him while tending his flock and
commanded him to lead a children’s crusade to Palestine. The king ordered him to return home. Still, twenty thousand young people gathered to follow wherever Stephen chose to lead them. He chose to lead them across France to Marseille, where, Stephen promised, the ocean would divide in a miraculous manner and they would walk to Palestine on dry ground. The ocean did not open like the Red Sea but two ship owners offered to take as many young people as possible to Palestine without charge. The children crowded into seven ships and sailed forth singing hymns of triumph. On the way two of the ships were wrecked off Sardina, with the death of all on board. The other children were brought to Tunisa or Egypt where they were sold as slaves. The ship owners were hanged by the order of Frederick II.