Building Utopia With Your Bare Hands- a cautionary tale


lab expereiment

My oldest child. 

I should have donned a lab coat the minute he was born. He was my  great parental experiment.

“No way is evil going to taint your soul,” I proposed as I wrapped a Pamper diaper around his little bum. I considered myself well qualified to conduct this test case. Had I not grown up in churches that forbade

  1. rock music,
  2. mixed bathing,
  3. and watching movies at the theatre?

If someone gave him one of those soft baby books,  I screened it for witches and violence. On Saturday, I analyzed cartons for subversive content.

Bible stories and Winnie the Pooh made the cut. Not much else.

Basically, I tried to achieve the impossible. Shielding my son from all the hurt and evil in the world.

Some days I fell asleep on the couch during comatose-inducing shows like Little House on the Prairie and Blues Clues. When I awoke, I found he and his siblings mesmerized by the lurid twists and turns of daytime soaps and  action flicks.

I tried. I plotted and measured and theorized that I could somehow create utopia with my bare hands.  A place where my son would never face evil, pain, rejection or disappointment.

End the end, all I had to offer was an apartment featuring

  1. windows with a privacy coating made of sticky finger prints,
  2. and an overstuffed sofa with enough crumbs inside to provide rations for a small army.

There were not too many occurrences of gentle conversations with praise songs playing in the background.

Fact is, we can not create a bubble of protection around our children. Not even around their hearts.

To think we can is actually dangerous.


Because when we don’t get what we want we sometimes go ahead and pretend that we did.

  • That our children never struggle.
  • That they are never damaged by this fallen world.

The result is tragic –often more tragic than the initial situation. Our denial forces children to walk through the darkness confused. Angry. Frightened. Alone.

What can we do?

  • Face reality.
  • Seek healing.
  • Embrace redemption.

God is with us. When the keys get locked in the car and the kids are crying. When classmates laugh at our children. When someone hurts them in ways we never thought would happen, God is there.

He cares. He is good.

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