Once again the news is full of smashed buildings, dead children and adults, workers searching through rubble, and families left homeless. This time it’s a tornado in Oklahoma. I can’t believe this keeps happening. Must we have a disaster every month? It’s not just here in the United States. They’re happening all over the world. Some, like the Boston bombings, are man-made. Others, like the tornado and Hurricane Sandy, are deemed by the insurance companies as acts of God. One religious Facebook friend suggested these are signs that the end of the world is coming. Maybe, maybe not.
If you believe in praying, please offer prayers for those suffering from the tornado and other disasters. Come to think of it, that’s what nuns and priests do. These Catholic women and men who give up marriage and children to devote their lives to God use their parenting energy to pray and to offer practical help wherever it’s needed. We don’t have to be nuns or priests to do the same.
And here’s where I make this relate to being childless. In situations where children are dying, we can be selfishly grateful that none of them are ours, that we will never know the heartbreak of losing a child to whom we gave birth. Beyond that, because we don’t have children of our own to care for, we are free to help others who do. We can be that extra set of hands so needed by parents overwhelmed by big disasters or the little challenges of daily life.We can pray, we can babysit, we can send money to Red Cross, we can bandage wounds or help dig through the rubble.
It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves because we don’t have children. We can waste our days blaming our partners or God for how things turned out. Or we can appreciate the children of the world as mothers and fathers at large, and when we see a need, we can step forward and ask, “Can I help?”
Do you agree?
6 thoughts on “Without children, we are free to help others in need”
“God is not in the wind. God is in all the people who see the suffering that is, and the suffering to come, and who choose compassion and justice and the hope of a better world.” – Rev. Lynn Ungar(Unitarian Universalist)
Thank you, Sharon. I like that.
Yes, I agree. And, I have the chance to get to know LOTS of children at my Unitarian Universalist Congregation by volunteering. If I were busy with one or two of my own (caring for them, working to raise more money to afford them), I would not have as much time to volunteer. I also spend a lot of time with my best friend's children. I am Auntie Susan to them; their biological aunt has three kids of her own and does not have as many opportunities to do special outings with them. Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh, shared this same idea when he was asked in an interview if he felt sad about not having his own children. He expressed his joy at getting to know SO MANY children. His retreats always invite children to come.
Beautiful. Thank you, Susan.
“If you believe in praying, please offer prayers for those suffering from the tornado and other disasters. Come to think of it, that’s what nuns and priests do. These Catholic women and men who give up marriage and children to devote their lives to God use their parenting energy to pray and to offer practical help wherever it’s needed. We don’t have to be nuns or priests to do the same”. It's true; life is a choice 🙂
Well said, Sarah. Add the people suffering from the fire in Colorado to your prayers, too. I hear that more than 600 homes have already been lost.