Our Father in Heaven,
I kneel before you as your humble servant.
It has been my honor to serve you these many years,
sharing the message of unconditional love, generosity, and acceptance,
which is, after all, your blessing to us all.
I bring presents to children the world over,
but no gift I can carry equals the gift
that you gave to us all:
The life of your Son, Jesus.
I want to express my thanks for this gift,
but also to share my burden.
I have done my best to bring joy to children everywhere.
But as I look around, I see a world
where it is dangerous to be a child.
I see them dying in war.
They suffer from hunger and disease in a world of plenty.
I see them on the streets of cities, lost and alone.
Some are caught between the anger and bitterness of selfish parents.
And some battle diseases
that could all too soon, end their lives.
I see all this and I worry deeply
about what the future will bring.
And yet, when I hold them in my lap
and look into their eyes,
I remember that you continue to send them to us.
I have come to realize that this is your message to me;
that despite a world overwhlemed with despair,
You are not discouraged.
We still need love's tender lessons
taught as only a child’s innocence can.
For this you have sent us your smallest angels.
And the little children will lead us.
You sent us your son as a symbol of hope.
Every child thus becomes also a symbol of hope.
There is an unknown potential in every child,
waiting for the right combination
of love, support and encouragement to spring forth,
like a beautiful flower.
Father, I worry because I want all these wonderful children
to have the chance to grow up without fear, hunger, or rejection.
I worry because I am only around for just a few weeks every year
and that is never long enough.
So I ask of you with all my heart and all my love
for their protection from the cruel tragedies of an uncaring world.
I pray that their bright, loving spirits would remain untouched;
for they ARE the hope of this world.
And as long as the rest of us can feel their love
and experience their joy,
and take heart in the promise of their lives;
as long as we can remember that the child we once were
still lives deep within us all,
we will not lose hope.
Thank you Father for sharing these children with us.
They are the greatest of your great blessings to us all.
I pray in the name of your Son
as your loving and Humble Servant,
Copyright © 2010 by Ralph Couey