Children Of Innocence

April 23, 2018
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Violence, suicide, shootings, racial slurs, and bullying are rampant, and it seems that these are occurring more and more. One just has to watch the news on television, read the newspaper, or hear it in the streets. Children and young adults are scared, and parents fear for their children's lives.

I know how these children and adults feel. I was one of them. I was an innocent target towards which bullets of learned hatred were aimed.

When our family emigrated from Germany to Canada in 1957, it wasn't very long until the children in school found out where I had come from and what my heritage was. I was ten years old, but I was branded as a Nazi and a Hitler-lover. There came a time when I became ashamed of my heritage and retreated into silence. Eventually, children accepted me for who I was and not where I had come from.

Throughout history, society always finds scapegoats. At first, it was the Jews, then the Japanese, then the Germans, then Muslims, and now the target seems to be Syrian refugees. There are still people today who are fearful of what they do not know or understand. It seems that there will always be a few individuals, filled with hatred, who will cause havoc and create fear for each ethnic group or individuals.

Over two thousand years ago, Jesus became the scapegoat for humanity. Back then, as now, people in prominent positions were fearful of the One they didn't understand, shouting insults and accusations at Him, and finally crucifying Him.

Matthew 27:22-23 – Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Crucify Him!" And he said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they kept shouting all the more, saying, "Crucify Him!" (NASB)

Do we continue to crucify Christ in our actions and non-action? What can we do today to help the innocent?

Prayer: Lord God, we pray that You would grant discernment and understanding to us and remove the veils of hatred and fear. Grant forgiveness, wisdom, and love to all who are struggling. Help us to accept each other in love. Help us to be peacemakers and to stand up for those who are marginalized. Amen.

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About the author:

Rosemary Hagedorn <>
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you. Well put.

    May it be so, Rosemary. Great story.

    Good morning Rosemary,
    I would like to share your devotional “Children of Innocence”.
    Thank you so much.

    Dear Rosemary,
    Thank you for this timely and helpful reminder to be more like Jesus in our acceptance and inclusion of others.

    Oh Rosemary, how sad. My heart goes out to you. It’s hard going for every child who is picked on and belittled. May the embrace of Jesus Christ heal those awful memories, both yours and others. Thank you for sharing your pain with us. Blessings.

    Dear Rosemary
    Thank you for speaking such a profound truth! Thank you for standing up for all marginalized people who are the sons and daughters of our God. May He bless you with all you do and need to do and may He truly make all your burdens light.

    Thank you, Rosemary for a meaningful devotional.
    Jesus Christ took the punishment for all, even for those who caused one or more of their own family to be less than another, or less than others.
    Keep writing,
    Jesus Christ knows what it’s like to be the unfavored–the scapegoat.

    Thank you, Rosemary. Sorry to read of your having been a target for hatred, though glad you were finally accepted. It is a very, very scary world out there … not just with the situations you’ve mentioned, but with drugs, and also, I just read of how different Neo Nazi organizations are being allowed a “voice” in Poland. Do we not ever learn from history?
    Keep up your writing.
    God be with you.

    Hi, when I was child in the early fifties a German family moved in next door. The father and my father had both served and it turned out the fought against each other in some of the same battles. Our families became friends and every Christmas our fathers would have a drink across the fence to toast and remember those who died on both sides of the war. This helped me to learn tolerance for others but sometimes it can still be a struggle but with Christ’s help I will get better as I follow His example.
    Thank you for your words today.

    A definite AMEN to that prayer Rosy.
    So sorry that you endured such treatment. My sons were also hounded and tormented when they first came to Canada.
    It’s the tragedy of the human condition that we fail to treat needy folk with respect and love, and instead single them out for ‘special’ attention.
    My constant prayer is for the love of Christ to fill the hearts, minds and spirits of all who have bad or evil intent towards another.

    Good Morning Rosemary!
    I enjoyed your Devotional, as it took me down “Memory Lane” once again.
    I was born when war was a very real thing, and members of our Family were on the battlefields of Europe. Our Churches were filled to overflowing, and almost everyone volunteered in some way to defeat the Enemies, driven by Satin.
    The world war is over, but Satin isn’t! Our society is in shambles, because no one teaches parenting anymore. The acquisition of money and possessions has become the driving force of life, and ethics are antiquities, along with self-respect. Last Sunday, we had 15 in Church, instead of the 50 we used to have.
    Sad, isn’t it? Satin is winning once more.

    Good word Rosemary!

    Hi Rosy,
    I know, more or less, what you are talking about. My parents came here from Holland in 1948, I was a teen at the time. During the summer of 1949 my dad and I worked in a factory and one of the men came to me one time, angry at the world, probably because he had to work in a factory and said to me “Why don’t all you DP’s go back where you came from, you are taking all the good jobs away from us Canadians.” I pointed out to him that we were not DPs, that my dad still owned property in Holland and that I wondered if working on an assembly line 9 1/2 a day was a good job for a young teenager.
    One of my younger sisters, married to a Canadian for many years, died three years ago, and a friend overheard someone refer to her as the old Dutch woman.
    It seems that we cannot escape our heritage, nor do we want to, as one of my grandsons always says. “Opa it is what it is.”
    And when everything is all done we are one in the Lord.

    Very nicely said, Rosemary. May your message bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.

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