When you read this title, what did you think of? Did you think of the millions of children in Africa crying out for food and drink? Did you remember hearing a horrific story about children from the news? Maybe you thought of a child you passed on the street, or in the mall, or on a plane who was crying? If you are a parent, you may even have thought of your own children crying. Or, you might be reading this while they are crying right now. My question is this. Does the cry of a child tug on your heart?
I am a mom who has generally used the “cry it out” method first. I have never been bothered by a few tears of a child or for that matter, the tantrum screams of a child looking to get their own way. It does not make me feel guilty. Neither does it hurt my feelings to know that my kids have cried. In my mind, occasional crying is a natural response for children and babies who cannot communicate effectively through words. As a mom, I know when the cry is from hurt, hunger, discomfort, or just from being overtired. I can tell from the way the crying starts if I need to either respond immediately or give the child a moment to see if he or she can calm down on their own.
At the age of two though, my kids do know enough words that I stop letting them cry it out. Rather, I help them to use their words. This is not to suggest that they won’t cry. They often do because crying is a natural first response. But I will try to instill in them options by helping them describe what is wrong using language and words.
In the long run, I hope that this will teach them good communication skills and will help them understand that excessive crying is not an appropriate reaction. Please don’t get me wrong. If my kids are sick, I do not dismiss their crying. If they are hurt, I tend to their needs. But I do believe that learning good communication from an early age is important.
Still, when I penned this title though, I was thinking of the cry I heard yesterday. It was the cry of a small child that didn’t fall into any of the above categories and — it broke my heart. I could hear Mom and Dad yelling at each other in the background and through the angry and hurting voices, I heard a small boy crying out to them. It was not a hunger cry or a hurt cry. Instead, it was a cry of loneliness and abandonment. My heart broke for him as I wanted to go pick him up and rock him. But I could not take this action as he is not mine. He does not belong to me and as such, I have no right to be the one who calms his fears.
I did do something though. I knew that this child is a child of the Most High King. He is a child who was created for a purpose. He is a little boy who is loved by the same Jesus that died for him. So I prayed to the One who knows this child’s pain and sees his broken heart. I prayed, with my husband, for healing in his family.
(My husband has a papa’s heart and if my heart was hurting from hearing those screams, then I know his heart was in great anguish.)
In Luke 4:18, the scripture states, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recover sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
I know that Jesus does not only perform miracles. He came to heal the brokenhearted in this world too. As such, I will continue to pray for this little boy and his family. If you ask me why I have such hope? It is because I believe in the power of Jesus to heal broken hearts. Indeed, He is healing mine. He is putting my home back together and I know that if I keep praying for this family, then He has the power to heal them too.