I Was Important in the Life of a Child

I Was Important in the Life of a Child

Our son Nikolas turned twenty last month. Thomas and I could hardly believe it! So I sat down and wrote his heart surgeon a note, and I included a picture of our handsome boy. I thanked the surgeon for saving Nikolas’ life when he was four years old. It was his third heart surgery, and they almost lost him. Because of the fine surgeon and his competent team, they saved our son’s life.

When Nikolas was eighteen days old, he had his first heart surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. I remember walking away from his little crib on the day after his surgery, and noticing a poster on the wall with these words:

A hundred years from now
It will not matter what my bank account was
The sort of house I lived in,
Or the kind of car I drove . . .
But the world may be different
Because I was important in the life of a child.

I stood staring at those words for a very long time, my eyes filling up with tears. I prayed that my baby would survive, so that we could be important in his life.

When we were serving at St. John’s, Sacramento, one of the members needlepointed those words and put it into a beautiful frame for Thomas and I. It has hung in our bedroom in each home we have lived in since Nikolas was four years old.

It’s so easy to get “caught up” in so much of life, isn’t it? I know it is for me. A Lenten discipline could be for you to consider how many children you have been important to in their lives. (And remember: A child of God can be any age!)

In your ministry, take some time to ponder, to reflect, to consider the ways God has used you as an instrument of God’s magnificent love, grace and joy for one of God’s children. And then pause – and give thanks to God for that holy privilege.

Lenten blessings,
Pr. Kathryn Gulbranson


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