The fourth day of Christmas, dedicated to the Holy Innocents as they’ve been named, those slaughtered at the command of an evil king afraid for his throne, and it’s more than a mother’s heart can bear. It really is, but it’s history and so it’s the second-hand kind of sorrow that only filters in if I let it.
Tragedies are not all history, though, and as I sit in the morning of this day, this Childermas day, I think of the innocents of my time. Of today and tomorrow, when children will be sold into slavery or taken from mother’s wombs or hungered to death or killed in their classrooms.
It’s more than a mother’s heart can bear, but still I’m protected by distance and comfort and the ability to put it out of my mind. To be thankful for the health and safety of mine, and to forget of the lack of theirs. Those mothers, those families, those children who live without.
This week, friends of mine will be building a school in Mexico.
Next week, my parents and some of their friends will be building a home in Mexico for the family of a friend they met there last year.
I have friends who are heart-heavy involved with The Exodus Road, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting human trafficking and child slavery.
I have friends who have adopted or fostered or just plain loved the children in their paths who needed them.
These are a few of the beautiful things happening in my little circle of what’s going on in the world. You know of other groups, other people, who are helping as they can, where they can.
Today I’ll donate some of my money to some of these causes, in the name and memory of the innocents.
But more than that, I’ll see my own, really see them today, and I’ll know in my heart of the blessing of children. Those of my womb, and those of my heart.
I’ll make their favourite foods and I’ll laugh at their jokes, and I’ll miss the one who is missing, and I’ll heap prayers upon prayers for them, and for them all.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come unto Thee.
O Lord Jesus Christ, once Thou embraced and placed Thy hands upon the little children who came to Thee, and said: “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and their angels always see the face of my Father!” Look now with fatherly eyes on the innocence of these children and their parents’ devotion, and bless them this day through our prayers.
In Thy grace and goodness let them advance continually, longing for Thee, loving Thee, fearing Thee, keeping Thy commandments. Then they will surely come to their destined home, through Thee, Savior of the world. Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
common prayer of blessing on the fourth day of Christmas