If we work on the assumption that spirituality already exists inside every child, the impact we have on children even in the earliest stages of their development makes such a difference.
Many years ago I was told the story of a baby was born to a mother who was addicted to crack cocaine. The little boy was born with an intense craving for the drug, and quickly went into withdrawal. He was inconsolable, crying and arching his back in pain. His mother was not available to him, as she was going through her own withdrawal. A group of friends decided to take turns holding that little baby in two hour shifts around the clock. Even as he cried and felt pain, arms were always around him. Even when it looked to those holding him that their arms were having no soothing effect, they still held him. After what seemed like an eternity, all the drugs were out of his system and he was at peace… lying in the loving arms of his caregiver.
What difference do you imagine that made to the baby boy? What did he learn about God even through unfair circumstances? How did his experiences shape him– even experiences he wouldn’t later be able to remember?