It Takes a Village
Christine Galbraith of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. -James 2:14-17
I have done research about “fatherlessness” and how it impacts children. Most children, especially males, suffer greatly in their development when they have little or no interaction with a father figure. They tend to have poorer self-esteem, suffer from depression, do less well in school, and get into more trouble. They even have a greater tendency to get involved in crime.
As a widow with two fatherless boys, I felt a sense of guilt for their situation. I’ve tried to be a good parent, but I can’t fill all the emotional needs that a stable father could provide.
I decided to write in my prayer journal all my negative thoughts and fears. But God’s Spirit interrupted my ranting with the simple thought, “Christine, look again.”
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and thought about my boys. For the most part, my sons are happy, healthy, and growing! Their self-confidence is increasing, and they know they are safe and loved. These are not the traits of kids who are fatherless!
And I knew that the reason was the love and support of my family and friends. My church community is very involved in my boys’ lives. Whether it’s a friendly greeting, a teasing, an opportunity to learn or do something new, they have helped my boys in becoming who they are today. And this has made all the difference. Because of the church family, my fatherless boys’ lives are quite “fatherful”!
An African proverb goes like this: “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is my testimony of how true that statement is.
“Be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants Section 163:10b).
This month, spend time each day noticing where divine grace is already pouring forth. Perhaps it is a simple awareness of creation’s systems and cycles that support our daily existence. The sun rises each day without being asked. There are underlying rhythms and relationships that hold the fabric of our lives together. Sometimes they fall into the background of our lives. We forget to see the natural generosity that spills over throughout our days-of the planet, the people we love, the Sacred Presence in all moments, the kindness of strangers we encounter, and the gifts we carry within. What is already being given in your life? What does it look like to be vulnerable to divine grace today?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.