Great Baptismal Poem

Preparing for a baptism on Sunday, I tried to find a poem or reflection that would offer advice to the child’s parents. Most of the ones that a quick Google search turned up deserved to be reburied as rapidly. However, this one really struck a cord and I would like to share it with you now.

It is by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward not tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and bends you with might that the arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as the Archer loves the arrow that flies,
so the Archer also loves the bow that is stable.

Now that is worth saying – that is worth hearing!