Searching for the Sacred Moments

They sat, cross legged, faces turned upward, their hands held open in front of them. The baptismal font stood above them, sheltering their presence with its invitation to belong.

One eager boy, younger and smaller than the rest, ran to join in for the children’s sermon, then turned back to his mother. Then, just as suddenly, he turned and scooted into place beside a much taller boy. Occasionally, he waved to his mother, seeking reassurance while spreading his smile for all to see. Several times he whispered to the boy next to him who, with a finger to his lips, begged him to be quiet.

The minister, to emphasize the meaning of acceptance and belonging, invited them to dip their hands in the water. Swishing the water around, splashing a bit on each other and themselves, they joined together in play and in ceremony of their own awakening faith.

All except one.

Try as he might, standing on his tiptoes and jumping up and down, he simply was too short to reach the water.

It was then, as if the world in the form of the congregation, stood on the steps of eternity, waiting for a sacred moment.

And it happened.

An older member stepped from his pew, swooped the boy up in his arms and held him so that he too could dip his hands in the water and so that he too could belong.

It was indeed, a sacred moment.

Far apart from this moment, and yet so very close, the world explodes in violence, fear, anger and hate. Political discourse in America’s election year is filled with condemnation, half-truths and spite. In the midst of it all, young children,  reaching their hands eagerly to belong, are ignored, or even worse, used as tools to tout a candidates embrace of “family values!”

The real needs of children, should be apparent to all. They should not be murdered, or allowed to unknowingly kill by the ease of access to guns. They should not be hungry. They should not be deprived of day care, school lunch, a clean bed in which to sleep, a safe place to run and jump and play and always they should never be without  some one to lift them up and dangle their hands in the waters of a caring world.

In this country, there are abundant resources to make all those things happen. What is lacking in the political dialogue is the will to do so. Until there comes a time when children are valued enough so that they are picked up and carried in our arms of power and concern, we will have to continue searching for the sacred moments that invite everyone to belong.


About Olson Huff, MD

Olson Huff is a pediatrician, author, husband, father of three sons and grandfather of four dynamic and growing grandchildren. Often described as a visionary leader and eclectic thinker, his efforts have always been to acknowledge the power, value and delight to be found in ALL children. As a pediatrician he has used his skills as a clinician to provide healing, as an author his words to reveal the spirit of children and as an advocate to plead their case from the state house of politics to the White House of policy changes. His vision is that ALL children will have the very best start in life from their earliest years of development to the brightness of the future they aspire to shape. He believes ALL children have a right to affordable, quality health care, clean and safe environments and homes that cherish their presence.
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12 Responses to Searching for the Sacred Moments

  1. David Tayloe says:

    Amazing piece! Thanks for sharing!

    On a sad note, Tom Irons’ wife Carol died of complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis over the weekend.

  2. Cynthia ASHBY says:

    Beautifully said

  3. Don McMahill says:

    But of course, Olson. There are so many dedicated to the raising-up of children, it’s become ho-hum to the news media. The current 24-7 media has become a battle for ratings, and the more outlandish “news” they can dig up, helps them succeed. “Stay tuned for the latest on the recent tragidy,” has become the standard rather than the exception………in the meantime, camps, churches, schools, Scouts, etc., continue to plug along, raising-up children, quietly, behind the scenes. That’s what needs to earn our interest and support.

  4. Steve kaagan says:

    Truth telling from a distinguished elder. We need to mount a full court press in this country on behalf of the health, development and welfare of our children or we will have at best a stunted future. Thanks Olson.

  5. says:

    Beautiful. Deep. Moving. Truth.

  6. Cecil Jivicdn says:

    Very well done, Olson, as usual. It is so barely forgivable that power is so self-centered, arrogant and greedy. The delight of the presence of children is totally lost on power, still more interested in power OVER instead of EMpower. Gratefully, Cecil

  7. Barbara McLean says:

    Olson – thank you for reminding all of us about the things that are really important in this time when it feels like America has gone mad. Barbara

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