The World in a Whirlwind: Childhood, Beauty, Sin, and Redemption

Photo: Matt Valdez

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Ring them bells for all of us who are left
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through
Ring them bells, for the time that flies
For the child that cries
When innocence dies

-Bob Dylan, Ring Them Bells , verse IV

The world my children have been born into is a contradictory mix of beauty, joy, sin and and indifference; it is a whirlwind of people vying for power and little children making mud pies and receiving a catechism lesson at bedtime. A quick glance at today’s current events shatters the “Happy Humanist” illusion of humanity’s inherent goodness, provoking some to curse the God they don’t believe in while exciting others who can’t wait to use their “bug out bags.”

My five children are all young–five years old and under kind of young. Our home has wooden blocks, stray A.A. Milne books, and cloth diapers in a wicker basket next to our glider rocker in the corner. Our refrigerator is a smattering of colorful art displays, a craft-foam magnet made at Sunday school which says, “God keeps His promises,” family photos, and occasionally a crayon mark at various spots within the lower three feet of the door. Their world is oatmeal and waffles, swing sets and learning letters, anticipating Christmas and their birthdays.

In contrast to the refuge of our home, the pangs of death and murder, genocide and unspeakable atrocities occur in other places as we kiss our children good night and tuck them in. Somewhere there are mortar shells destroying, a marriage dissolving, betrayal, hearts raging against themselves and the knowledge of God they seek to suppress. And yet our children sleep.

The evidence of children is everywhere in our house, our home, a storehouse of nourishment, affection, correction, teaching, refuge and unconditional love. Children bring a joie de vivre even in a world of violence and uncertainty. Childhood is an extremely fleeting time of life. An important and precious time. I cannot believe how fast the time we have had with our ever-growing family has been spent. The shortness of this perilous time provokes an ever deepening sense of calling within me to ensure my children each have the understanding of their own smallness and God’s bigness. They need to know there are troubles and woes because of sin, but peace and joy because of Christ.

The LORD tames the rebel’s heart and atones for his wrongs,

Turns hellish shouts and sobs into contrite thanksgiving songs.

Veldez, a blog, is layman literature which includes observations about family life, vocation, books, music, the outdoors, and life as it is. Written from the perspective of a twenty-something husband and father of four, a Christian worldview is the common thread throughout.



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