Psalm 32:6-7

Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. 

Our safe place  

During WWII, my cousin’s husband, Peter, lived in a city in the Netherlands that was under threat of being bombed by the Germans. When the air raid sirens went off his father wrapped his children in his heaviest coat and went with them into a closet to protect them from the explosions. His coat bore holes where fiery pieces of shrapnel had hit it.

That war is a distant memory, but there are many wars in our troubled world. A recent TV clip showed a Syrian father and his little child laughing together. He had taught her to laugh whenever she heard a bomb, telling her the bombs are toy weapons. He was trying protect her from the terror and psychological damage that is part of their daily lives.

Pictures of war and homeless refugees fill our TV screens every day. They portray unthinkable scenes of parents—hungry, cold and helpless—trying to protect their children from a future they can’t even imagine.

All of these scenes are a far cry from the pictures in our children’s Bibles showing Jesus, surrounded by children, telling everyone near, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19:14).

Arline Johnson


Lord God, in these quiet, thoughtful days of Lent, help us to keep in our minds the love you have for all children and their parents in our troubled world.

To Ponder:  When have you prayed for safety and God’s protection?