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Lent 2011

A Child's Eye View

Day 13

By by Cheryll Felder, board president, Houchen Community Center, El Paso, Texas

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food." Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live." So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

—Numbers 21:4-9

In this day and time, when our lives are full of things to do and places to go, Lent is the time to reflect on our lives and beliefs, to improve, to think about the things we have done wrong during the past year. What does it take to live as a Christian in today's world? How do we follow the commandments? As I read Numbers 21:4-9, it reminded me of all of our human frailties. When life is going good, we often forget to reflect on our blessings and thank God for the fruits of our lives. Our lives become entangled in everyday concerns; we exist sometimes, as they say, just to exist. We work long hours, becoming involved in many activities beyond what we can humanly do well in. We spend less time reflecting on God's word. As a result of this, we sometimes formulate an attitude of complacency. I call it the "complainer" attitude. As with the Israelites, many of us complain about the littlest of things. Even though, there is something positive in our lives, we succumb to the habit of complaining. We cry out that God has forsaken us. Just as the Israelites started praying after sinning did they ask Moses to pray for them. We don't see what we have before us and what true marvels God has provided!

Seeing the children enjoying the playground and one another really reminded me of how different children are from adults.

Children of all ages come to the Houchen Community Center in El Paso, Texas, for nourishment, development, fun and spiritual enrichment. As you watch the 3- and 4-year-olds play in the playground without a care in the world, you are reminded of god's love for all of us. Contentment with what they have shines in their little faces. They invoke excitement when they see you for the first time, wanting to make sure that you know their name.

During a recent visit to Houchen I was reminded how precious life is, how simple and unpretentious a child's world is. As I walked hurriedly toward the Child Development Center, one of the children asked me who I was and told me her name. I was between meetings and was trying to take care of something prior to the start of the next meeting. As I stood there, I pondered my temporary dilemma about how I was going to complete what I was rushing off to do. After she stopped me, I thought very briefly about the few items needing my attention. At that point, I had two choices: I could keep walking or stop for a few minutes to talk. After the first child spoke, a ripple effect began among the children. Five to six children crowded around shouting their name and making sure that I recognized them as well. It is amazing how children are happy and satisfied with their surroundings regardless of what they have in their lives. Since many of our children come from single-parent homes with limited incomes, seeing the children enjoying the playground and one another really reminded me of how different children are from adults.

As the Israelites traveled under Moses's care, complaining about anything and everything became a way of life for them. So often in life, we as adults forget about the simple pleasures and positive fruits God provides for us. It is important for us to pray on a daily basis and believe in God for our spiritual growth. As children remind us, finding joy in the smallest of things is always important.

As you devote time during lent to spiritual devotions and prayer, include daily prayer in your life. Find time to share with others the fruits of your life and to share in the word of God. I always thank God for the many blessing I have received. I am truly blessed to have the Houchen Family in my life.


Gracious God, help us to see the world through the eyes and hearts of Children. Amen.

Last Updated: 04/16/2014

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