Jacqueline Kennedy adored her children. While she served as First Lady, she designed a secret play area for her preschoolers, Caroline and John. She picked a spot just outside her husband’s west wing office. The playground included a tree house, swings, a slide, and pens for various animals. Kennedy could glance outside to observe his children, and sometimes he stepped outside and frolicked with them.

One afternoon Jackie asked Mr. West, head White House usher, to meet her at the southwestern gate. When West arrived, she pointed out that tourists could see her young brood at play. She requested large bushes to screen the children.

The National Park Service obliged by planting eight-foot rhododendrons, but the president worried the bushes would obscure that view of the White House. The newspapers also complained. Next, the police protested that the huge plants interfered with guarding the building. But the public couldn’t get a glimpse of the Kenney children.

As mothers, we can understand Jackie’s desire to protect her children. On the other hand, we often feel endangered by the encroaching evil of our world. Every news report reveals assaults on our fragile freedoms.

At times like this, I remind myself Jesus left us here in the middle of a sinful world. In John 17:15, we see He prayed to the Father before He left, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” After he returned to heaven, he gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us, and he gave us a mission to share our faith with the world. We are safe. Let’s revel in that.

 

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