Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Children are a reward..."

An acquaintance of mine just miscarried this morning. She is my age, and childless, and although she was only nine weeks along, this was a greatly-desired baby. She had names picked out and was full of hope.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth."

I was ruminating on this line of scripture shortly after this lady called with the news that she was suffering symptoms that seemed indicative of miscarriage. I have never felt comfortable with the word "reward" as it is used here in this passage. It seems to imply that children are like merit badges given out by God for pleasing Him, which would of course imply the opposite for the state of childlessness. Lack of children is not, we know, a punishment. So what to make of the word "reward" here? Maybe "gift" would be a better word to understand the meaning; after all, we also know from scripture that all things are gifts from God for those who love Him and strive to do His will. Everything is intended for our sanctification. It is the carrying of the Cross that sanctifies us and purifies us, making us over in the image of Christ, our Lord. For some the Cross is childlessness, and for others, caring for the children they have. Those on both sides of the fence will have times when the Cross seems much too heavy to bear.

Christianity is strange, isn't it? Embracing the Cross sounds like foolishness to the world, but the world's wisdom is foolishness to Christ. Embracing the Cross isn't easy, but it can be easier when we try to see from Heaven's viewpoint rather than our own. And that isn't always easy, either. but God doesn't tell us that any of it will be easy. Only that it will be worth it.

Please say a prayer for C. and ask the Lord to give her peace. My heart--so enlarged by Him through love of the children He has granted me--aches deeply for her.


  1. Please let C. know about ... it's a website regarding miscarriage that was extremely helpful to a couple in my parish recently.

  2. I like how you talk about crosses coming in many forms and how "for some this cross is childlessness and for others taking care of the children they already have." Children are a blessing but sometimes that blessing is in the form of a cross.

  3. I've always said that children are a cross in a most embraceable form!

  4. "Children are a cross in a most embraceable form." What a wonderful way to put it.


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