Children. My philosophy regarding kids is they’re cute from a distance. I love it when my friends and family have kids because I can hold and play with the child when he or she is happy. Once the tears release, I can hand the child over and wish the parents good luck.
Don’t get me wrong…I do love kids. But at this moment in my life, children are off my radar because A) I’m a bit too selfish and there’s some things I want to accomplish before I even think about having kids and B) I don’t think the world is ready for a mini-me just yet.
What some call their “baby fix”, I call it hanging out with small humans. Hanging out with these small humans ranges from babysitting, to hanging out with an individual that happens to bring along a small human, or I volunteer to hang out with the kiddos. This summer, I took a step into Vacation Bible School world. My job was to teach small humans about how awesome this guy named Jesus is and how we can show that love to others. During that week, I received hundreds of hugs, shared a few great laughs, and learned a few lessons from the kids.
Kids are Energizer Bunnies. THEY DON’T STOP MOVING. They just keep going and going and going. When I first dove into VBS week, I was taken aback because I wasn’t sure how to handle all this energy thrown out at me. After sitting back and observing the chaos, I recognized that all that energetic chaos was just having fun…so as an almost adult, I jumped right into the fun.
Kids really do say the darnedest things. During my first night of VBS, one child wanted to share the story of this one time his sibling had lice. He proceeded to stand up and itch his hair and stomped around. Apparently this was the dance he would do if he had to defeat life. Another kid brought his night-vision goggles “just in case” he needed them to read the Bible. Throughout the whole week, whenever I asked a question about Jesus, she would raise her hand and tell me all about her love of horses. By the end of the week, I put it together that she was trying to tell me that she knows Jesus loves her as much as she loves horses. Seriously…these kids became my heroes.
If candy is involved, kids will do ANYTHING. I’m not ashamed to admit that I bribed my kids to memorize Bible verses in exchange for candy. I guess you could say that I played a role in the kids being jacked up on sugar when we sent them home.
Children haven’t built up walls to keep up with appearances. Kids come to church being who they are. They aren’t worried what others think about them, what committee they should serve on, and get caught up in the politics of the church. They love one another and Jesus…and they are not afraid to tell and show you that. I can’t tell you how many times a small human ran up to me for a hug just because “they loved me.” I wish us big humans expressing how we loved one another more freely.
Children understand more than we would think. I went into VBS thinking I would be talking at the kids. Turns out, they knew a thing or two about this whole Bible thing. Things I would tell them would be remembered later on in the week…one girl wanted to talk more about a previous lesson. One boy knew almost all the answers to my questions because he reads his Bible every single day. Some of the kids didn’t want me to scratch the surface of the lesson…they really wanted to learn about Jesus.
After walking away from that week, I still have to admit that kids are a foreign concept to me. But I learned that these kids aren’t the future of our church…no…they ARE the church. They are fully capable members of our congregations…don’t let their size fool you.