Someone Else’s Child

October 26, 2017
Volume 21, Number 37

I’ve read stories of people who got into the wrong car. The cars looked similar, and without inspecting the car closely the person slid into the seat – and then realized their error. I suppose it can happen to anyone who isn’t paying attention.

A story out of Portland, Maine last week doesn’t concern cars but shopping carts. I don’t know if statistics are kept on mistakenly misappropriated grocery store carts, but I’m guessing it’s fairly common. They all look alike, right? The only difference will be the items placed in each.

The shopping cart in this story had one significant difference: A baby was sleeping in a car carrier in this cart. Without noticing, a man who was shopping began pushing it, thinking it was his own. When he realized a baby was there, he panicked and left the cart where it was to retrieve his own.

For a few minutes the store was locked down, as fear of a kidnapping was everyone’s first thought. Eventually video cameras in the store backed up the man’s story, and police decided not to press charges. The napping baby was not kidnapped after all.

As we’re going down the aisles of life, do we ever consider that someone else’s child may be watching and learning from us? The words we speak in anger, the programs we’re watching on television, the “white lies” we tell, the things we do and don’t do – are we sending a message to a young one who happens to be watching?

Jesus gave a stern warning in Mark 9:42: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Nothing is said by the Lord about whether the cause of stumbling was intentional or not. We may not have known anyone saw us.

In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul wrote about the collection of funds that was underway for the churches of Judea. In verses 20,21 he wrote: “Avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is being administered by us – providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

Paul and his companions were handling a large sum of money. Would they keep that money for their own purposes? Could these men be trusted? Paul affirmed that they behaved in such a way that no one could question their genuine desire to serve Jesus.

Can we say that our daily lifestyle is a genuine attempt to serve Jesus? Or are there moments, when we think no one is looking, that we veer off the path? Let us beware: Someone else’s child may be carried to a place you never intended to take them!

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.