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I Am a Child
by Joyce Hardin

    I am a child. I am an infant. I am innocent and vulnerable. I have no power and no guile. I am without experience and without remorse. I live in the present and know no tomorrow or yesterday. I am an empty book whose story is just begun to be written. I am Jesus in a manger of hay. I am the center of a living family. I am the victim of society’s ills.

    I am a child. I am a preschooler. I am a learner and an explorer. I question and I experiment. My thoughts go beyond my ability to communicate. I see people but only as they affect my environment. I am declaring my independence but I need the security of a well protected launching pad. I am Samuel given to the prophet Eli. I am loved and protected. I am abused and abandoned.

    I am a child. I am an elementary child. I have a world beyond my family. I am social and I need to belong. I seek freedom within limits. I learn that the world can be exciting and fun but that it can also be mundane and dangerous. I am discovering myself and am seeking something greater than myself. I am the boy David among the sheep. I am blessed and built up. I am forgotten and lost.

    I am a child. I am a preteen. I am growing rapidly: mentally, physically and socially. I make decisions and begin to see consequences. I am my peers. I am looking for role models in order to define myself. I question values and hate injustice. I am beginning to sense the adult I will become. I am Jesus in the temple. I am a young Christian. I am a gang member.

    I am a child. I am a teenager. I am casting off childhood but I am not ready for the responsibilities and decisions of an adult. I am self centered. My focus is more physical than spiritual. I define myself in terms of relationships —child, friend, sibling, student, peer. I am experience oriented and knowledge is relative. I am Joseph in a slave pit. I am a youth leader. I am an unwed mother.

    I am a child. Help me to become a child of God.

Joyce Hardin is a wonderful mother, grandmother, and missionary with years of ministry service, speaking and writing.


HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.
Copyright © 1997, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Article copyright © 1998, Joyce Hardin. Used by permission.
Design copyright © 1997-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.