One Child

“A child . . . “
“A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ ‘Mighty God,’ ‘Eternal Father,’ ‘Prince of Peace.'” (Isaiah 9:6)
A couple of weeks ago this leaf was lit up in front of me in the field across from the entrance to our subdivision.  As I pulled out to leave I noticed that the one leaf perched all alone on the top of the tiny tree was back lit by the sun, leaving the brilliant yellow leaf waving against the darkened woods behind it.  It was as though the single leaf was yelling, “I’m still here!  Stop and take my picture!”

In a strange sort of way, the one single leaf got me wondering about the One Child as we move through Advent toward Christmas.  In Appalachia we relish God’s glory displayed in a mountainside full of fall foliage.  Yet, this day I was just as taken by the beauty of this one leaf, holding on for dear life and brightening my day.  As we move toward celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the One Child who changed our lives forever, I find God calling my attention to the many “one child’s” around the world.  I’m called to focus on the one child out there who today is just as innocent as all the rest, but might someday become vulnerable to resorting to violence.

I cannot run away from the reality that every single child begins life the same, as an innocent gift from God.  Some enter the world facing more challenges than others, but all are innocent and seek only attentive love and nurturing.  Somewhere along the way loneliness, mental health issues, socioeconomic situations, political agendas, or other factors seduce them into believing that acts of violence against other innocents are the answers to their problems.  An innocent “one child” gets recruited to destroy another innocent “one child.”

This Advent I feel God calling me through the love of the One Child to pray for the many “one child’s” who are vulnerable for recruitment.  I feel called to pray for them and called to look for them, to be watchful for the “one child’s” and do everything in my power to help them find healing and peace from the One Child instead of recruitment by Violence.

Tomorrow’s perpetrators of violence are today’s innocent “one child’s.”  The One Child can save the many.  I pray that God will help me celebrate this Christmas by renewing my commitment to all the “one child’s.”  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on December 2, 2015.

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