Tonight I managed to get out of the hospital early enough to go to supper at the church. I had a lovely time chatting and eating with friends. After supper all the kids run around the room together, laugh and play and typically get into some mild mischief (running, finding a way to the drum set, yelling or such). As I was getting ready to leave tonight a group of roaming, little girls came up to me in a flock, one of them screamed my name “AMY!!!!!!!!!.” They ran up and hugged my legs, held my hands and offered me beautiful smiles. It was such a welcoming, loving, simple gesture.
Its the sort of gesture that we forget how to make as polite respecters of personal space adults. But children with their joy and their unconditional affection are not bound by such norms. It reminded me of how the disciples were afraid that little kids would annoy Jesus or get in the way but he scolded them and said let them come to me.
How often do we REALLY live this in our churches? I mean yes we have a whole slew of childrens ministries and activities but most of the time these occur somewhere far away from the communal worship gathering. Of course children have different needs than adults, some would say and I agree they need teaching that they can understand and apply for their age level. But I think we send them away too much, are children not part of the body? of our communities? Now children might be disruptive to prayer, to worship, to the way we do things some will argue…yes I am sure they will be somewhat disruptive at times but I think even these disruptions can be act of worship and their presence is something that we can learn so much from. Their wisdom is so precious.
Children have so much to teach us about love, trust and spirituality and about living unabashed and unashamed of what and who we believe in.