Innocence (or guiltlessness) is a term used to indicate a lack of guilt, with respect to any kind of crime, sin, or wrongdoing. In a legal context, innocence refers to the lack of legal guilt of an individual, with respect to a crime.
The lamb is a commonly used symbol of innocence’s nature. In Christianity, for example, Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God”, thus emphasizing his sinless nature. Other symbols of innocence include children, virgins, acacia branches (especially in Freemasonry), non-sexual nudity, and the color white.
The photo above was taken with a Nikon F2 and probably my old trusty Nikkor 43-86 zoom on Kodachrome 64 film. This is my oldest daughter who just recently turned 30. She still exhibits the same wonderment and zest for life as she did 28 years ago, but now tempered with life experience. Is the innocence still there? Sure it is. It will always be there even if it has to work it’s way to the surface every once in awhile. She has the strength to insure no one will ever take that part away from her. Whether she believes in God or not, her spirit was given to her by the Creator and will be welcomed home when that time comes. Hopefully not for many years to come as she has so much spirit to share with those around her.
Sometimes bad things happen to even the most innocent. Think of the souls lost in Syria right now. Babies and mothers blown to bits by a mad man. When people lose their innocence it is usually at the hands of the guilty, if you can call the opposite of innocent – guilt. However these unfortunate victims of murder in Syria have not really lost their innocence, just their worldly projection of it. Innocence is within the spirit, which now rests with God.
Those that have that special ability to make others feels special, whether it’s their own child, extended family or close friends are special in themselves. They are a rarity in today’s “me” world. These special people are selfless and work long hours, many over looked, to insure the quality of life for those around them is the best.
I want to talk now about someone in our family who is one of these very special people. I have only known her for around ten years but in that short time have learned to love her. Every time we visit she goes out of her way to make us feel special even though at the same time she is working a very demanding job and running a very active household. Juanita is her name, not that would mean anything to many of you, but this is one person that should not remain nameless in a world of sensory clutter. Nothing she has done will make the evening news. She won’t appear as a trending item on Twitter. Nor will she have hours and hours of coverage devoted to her by CNN as she fights the biggest battle of her life. This person who could have done anything in her life devoted all her waking energy to the well being of others. Juanita worked in an old folks home for most of her adult life. She choose to work in a position that gave her a very hands on relationship with those in her care. Her spirit and innocent light infused those around her. Juanita is the ultimate “mother hen” even taking on the job as head contract negotiator for the care workers at her place of work.
Juanita and her husband Gerald brought up three lovely, caring and equally “innocent” children into adulthood. Each of their children have been infused with the spirit of their mother.
Juanita has been struck with a inoperable case of cancer. Bad things happen to good people. Just as they happen to bad people. There is an equality there that doesn’t seem fair. Why would God allow that? Why would God allow a child to lose his or her little life as in Syria? From God’s perspective, that life is not lost. God is able to restore to that child their life, so no loss is suffered on the part of the child. Life is not lost to the One who can restore it.
What about the grief that parents and family experience? In our loss, the presence of God is available for us to experience His strength, His comfort, His sustaining love and assurance in the face of the evil that exists. God sustains those who grieve for those He calls to Himself.
Juanita’s brothers, sisters and parents have flown to Abbotsford, BC where she lives to offer support and encouragement. This is one very close family. In the pictures my wife brought back Juanita still has that special smile.
I’m not writing a eulogy here, Juanita is still with us. I can feel the warmth of her smile as I think of her. Juanita is a unique person who deserves all the blessing, prayers or positive vibes any of you reading this can send her. She deserves it. Juanita has the fight of her life ahead of her. She has spent her entire life helping others. Now it our turn to help this very special person in any way we can.
Juanita has that special innocence. She still has that special ability to get excited about clover flowers just as my daughter did 28 years ago, even though her world around her is anything but easy.