Children -- how precious they are and how sad it is when they are harmed by life and turned into unhappy, destructive people.
Our Lord called them precious in the sight of God. This icon depicts the scene from the gospels where Jesus calls the children to come to Him.
The disciples had been trying to keep the children from crowding around Jesus -- I guess they thought of them as a nuisance and a bother -- but when Jesus realized it, he stopped them. Then He said: Let the children come to me for such as these are the Kingdom of God.
In another place he said that whoever harms a child that it would be better if they had never been born or once born, that a big stone should be tied around their necks and they should be thrown into the sea! Pretty strong language.
The word at the top of the icon is the Greek word for "blessing" and I have called this icon "the Blessing of the Children".
I came across the work of an artist recently by the name of Nancy Noel -- she has a web site at www.nanoel.com -- the painting above is one of hers.
Evidently she did a whole series of paintings of Amish children. The one, entitled "Sarah" was the first of the series.
This painting has so much to say about God and His creation and the fragile nature of the young of all species.
Peace be with you all.