Saving Children from Evil
Julio C. Rivas, CS
Most teenagers are creative, intelligent and caring. Only a small percentage of all children are living on the streets. Still, the absolute number is in the multiple thousands. It is the ignorance, stupidity and un-challenged evil within adults that derails the lives of teenagers.
Often children/teenagers who are suffering abuse, who are burdened by materialistic pressures, or who are deceived by predatory adults, do not know how to interpret what is happening to them. They also do not know if they need help and how to get it. What ensues is confusion, desperation, hurt and emptiness. This makes them even more mentally and emotionally vulnerable to malicious influences.
Most runaways come from abusive homes. Leaving their homes is a matter of survival. There are also the few who leave home because they are attracted to what they think is the freedom of the streets. Once on the streets, they become the target of predators. They often end up prostituting themselves, addicted to drugs, and committing crimes.
While conducting Bible classes at a shelter for teenage runaways, I had the opportunity to teach and counsel many children who had been living on the streets. I have witnessed how the immensity of God’s love pulls teenagers out of desperate circumstances.
Transformational, Love-filled moments can wash away pain, hurt and confusion. In one case, when we had been engaged in a spiritual conversation for over an hour, several teenage girls sensed the influx of spiritual grace – the Holy Ghost. Their suffering and suicidal struggles were superseded by the desire to live and better their lives.
The freeing and regenerating power of divine Love, God, excises the social and familial factors that drive teenagers to live on the streets. Their home in God’s love is irreversible because Spirit-God encompasses all existence. Soul-God is the fountain of everyone’s spiritual identity. Our attraction to God’s good is weaved into the fabric of our spiritual being.
Evil attempts to drive a wedge between God and man. But because spiritual wholeness is intrinsic to our genuine self, evil can only hide our inseparability from Spirit-God. As the first chapter of Genesis says, we are constructed of the excellence of Spirit. Physicality and all the troubles that come with it represent a material delusion.
19th century writer and spiritual healer, M. B. Eddy, uncovers evil’s inveigling machinations when she writes, “Material theories tend to check spiritual attraction--the tendency towards God, the infinite and eternal--by an opposite attraction toward the temporary and finite.” But she also adds, “Truth, life and love are the only legitimate and eternal demands upon man ….”
Jesus Christ, who proved man’s God-given dominion over evil by destroying sin, disease and death, regarded evil as a “lie” and “liar.” Jesus said this about evil: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is not truth in him.” Through his victories over evil’s illusions, the great Master proved to us the freedom and joy that can be derived from knowing the supremacy of God’s grace.
We can reverse the obnoxious materialism of modern society which attempts to confuse and distance everyone from their spiritual relationship with Love-Spirit. By anchoring ourselves on the premise of Spirit’s all-substance, all-intelligence and all-science we place ourselves on an amazing journey of spiritual discoveries and rewards.
Open, respectful and supportive relationships and communication between parents and children can protect them from abuse, contagious materialism, and predatory evil. The supreme intelligence of Mind-God infuses us with wisdom. It creates a spiritually fecund and sheltering environment in our homes.
Young people need close, loving and trust-filled relationships with parents and other caring adults. But they mostly need an intimate relationship with Soul-God. When Truth-God is regarded as the head of every household then everyone can feel spiritual security. Each family member’s communion with Mind-God engenders resolution to the biggest fears, confusion and troubles.
We should never give up on anyone, even when he or she appears hopeless. If we believe we have already done everything humanly possible to help someone, our clear recognition of man’s Spirit-given, spiritual oneness will continue to nudge him in the right direction.
As the 23d Psalm reminds us, even in “the valley of the shadow of death” the power and presence of divine Love is there to protect and to bring anyone back to a God-centered life.
Love’s all-presence includes and blesses everyone.