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I saw a very clever caption the other day which showed a picture of a group of children with their phones and iPads and the headline said: ‘Left to their own devices’.
Many years ago a friend of mine warned her wee boy never to talk to strangers.
Having had this advice on many occasions, one day my friend overheard Peter asking his big sister: ‘Barbara Anne, what is a stranger?’
Many years ago a stranger was easy to define, but more often than not, danger was more likely to lurk in the family circle.
Today our children can be alone in their room yet surrounded by hundreds of strangers who pretend to be friends.
Many young people have become inept at socialising because they spend so much time in the insular world of social media.
I see young mums wheeling toddlers along in pushchairs while they chat on their mobiles rather than chat to their children.
Jesus always took time for children. When he was asked what the Kingdom of Heaven would be like, he took a small child and said that the Kingdom belonged to such as these little ones. When Jesus was tired and the children thronged round him, his disciples tried to chase them away.
Jesus severely rebuked his disciples and told them to let the children come to him and never to turn them away.
Jesus would never have left them to their own devices, and its interesting that the children wanted to be around Jesus.
In my experience, kids are great judges of character.
May all our children be loved, kept safe, given respect and encouraged to develop the God-given potential within them.