This article is based on a children’s address during a service in May 2015 and was entitled
“….was yours a soft toy ?”
Those who have had children or remember being that young will know all about something called ‘security blankets’. They come in many forms besides blankets- the most familiar being a soft toy.
Most, children quickly and easily find some object that they seek for comfort when something traumatizing takes place in their lives. There is a good and a bad side to these:
On the one hand – it is nice to be able to give a child something to comfort them at bed times or when there is something painful. On the other hand most parents know the frustration of looking for the missing blanket, or soft toy…and the tantrums or chaos that ensues- some of you may know the childrens story Dogger by Shirley Hughes. In the story Dogger is Dave’s special toy. He is soft, brown and worn in places, with one ear pointing up and the other flopping down. One day, after collecting his big sister Bella from school, watching the flags go up for the summer fair and enjoying ice-creams on the way home, Dave realises that Dogger is missing.
He is traumatised.
Much that takes place in our early years when we have a Dogger or similar has a parallel in the rest of our lives.
There is something within our humanity that needs a thing to hang onto when a crisis comes.
John 17:6-19 is a good read, it’s a prayer, but it is not just any prayer. It is a prayer for you and me as Jesus’s followers.
Knowing that someone cares for us, is something that is, and should be a deep comfort for us. This reading tells me and it tells you, that Jesus cares for us.
When times of stress overwhelm us, one of the hardest things to deal with is the feeling of being alone – sometimes as an adult – even if we still have our old soft toy we need something else to hold on to….
Repeatedly Jesus told His followers that He would remain with them. During the 3 years that they walked with Him, that promise was like a comforter, like a security blanket.
Jesus has given us the gift of prayer for the times when we and others are in need- In fact praying for others in need is a direct command to us.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
We are commanded to pray for each other when there are needs before us. It is not just a comforting soft toy or security blanket – it is something real that makes a difference.
And in the context of this we have Jesus’ prayer for us.
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.
Being part of the fellowship Jesmond URC, I know the blessing of being prayed for, I am sure that you know it too – It is a great comfort, and being prayed for makes a difference to me, to you and to God.