The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Being a child


When I look at my children growing up, I find nothing but love and innocence. I recall back to my days as a child and how care free everything was. We children knew we were not perfect, but we knew we were loved (truly, I am sorry that this is no the case for every child. My heart breaks that those around the world do not know this love) by our parents. We would do stupid things, get into trouble, make bad decisions. But we never felt as if we were ‘defective’ or ‘flawed’. When friends did something mean to us and apologized, we would forgive, easily and the friendship would resume with an even stronger bond! I recall my best friend at the time, Lucas Bachmann, whom many may know his mother (Michelle Bachmann, hehe, politics, but she was good lady, at least from my perspective as a child) did a mean thing. We both had a collection of batman cards. We would both tell each other how our decks were better than each other. You know, typically competing stuff. Eventually my deck was found ripped in half near a piano. My friend Lucas (I still love him, even though we basically never talk anymore) was asked about this cards said “I think maybe the corner of the piano had ripped them in half as they fell off” and instantly, I knew he had done something. But we parted our ways until his dad brought him over to my house a few days later. Lucas apologized and gave me his deck of batman cards. That acts of atonement was incredible. I don’t remember many more details, but I know the friendship resumed and was even stronger than before. To be sure, I also did him many injustices too. But this is the one I remember.

Still, I go back and think to myself. As kids the shame didn’t exist really. We felt guilty, made amends and rarely repeated the same mistakes. We were not indoctrinated with the idea that we were bent to do evil and will therefore always do evil. We told, rightly, that what we had done was wrong and we need to correct it.

As an adult reflecting back on his happy youth, I am very perplexed why people my age are falling apart… Why is mental illness at an all time high? Why are so many people addicted to relief of pain via the list of things (Gambling, Sex, Anger, Porn, Beer, Drugs, Food, etc…)… Why do I struggle with certain basic primal instincts? Why did everything seem easier as a child? Why, do I look back and wish I could go back? I have been looking into this answer for a very long time. I don’t think I have figured it out entirely, but I think it is because we humans adopted a shame based identity and I think that original sin and theology can teach this toxic doctrine… I know most of my mental health issues cropped up right around the time I started to study the Bible. Seriously. At around 19 years old, I started reading it for myself and started reading commentaries. I swear to God almighty, that if I could change my years I would avoid that like the plague. Things started going downhill once I started studying about God. Adopting a shame based identity is toxic as hell and I can’t even shed it years later when I no longer believe certain things.

Ignorance is bliss. Is that why Children are so happy? I don’t know. But I love children. They are innocent, precious and in for a world of pain as they grow up. I just don’t understand how God can be our father, when there is no interaction with us. Maybe that is why children start to crumble, because their earthly fathers and mothers let them go (as they have been taught). Maybe this concept is flawed. Maybe families are not supposed to split like they do in America. I know in some cultures, families stick together all the way up to the eldest. Americans, for the most part, and the first world have largely destroyed themselves in the pursuit of money and pleasure at the expense of family. But little did they know, the pleasure was there from the start, their family. They chased an illusion, which didn’t satisfy.

I would love to be a child of God. But, sadly, that can’t happen, because God isn’t here. My earthly father is, and thank God that he gave me a good one.

What are you thoughts on children and why they are so happy, despite being imperfect? Why do look at sleep as a “Waste of time”? Why do they see life so much differently than most people of my age (30’s-40’s)? Anyone?


Gabe, Your post REALLY hits home, to the heart of the matter, and I couldn’t agree more. Jesus’ ministry touched on many issues of life, and in speaking of I AM, I believe He was bringing us back to the place of family, friends and small communities where people actually know each other face to face and call you by your name, a place where you just felt loved. Your words took me back there. I happen to have been blessed with a wonderful childhood. I grew up in a small, close-knit farming community in Pennsylvania, where everyone knew everyone else. We roamed around town freely, and if we happened to do something inappropriate, you better bet our parents heard about it! I think you are absolutely right. We’ve somehow lost this. I feel it everywhere I go, like a person with no name or face. I’m just a number among millions of other numbers. I remember a time when you just went to the bank and got a loan. You didn’t have to go through a credit check, background check or anything else. You simply got the loan because the people at the bank knew you in some way or another. Either they were a relative, a friend of a relative, or a friend of a friend. I actually feel sorry for many of the children of today. I just started reading a book called “Staying is the New Going” by Alan Briggs. It deals with this same issue. No longer children, but as adults, I believe we can get back to that place by recreating these relationships with the people around us.