I always planned to get a job in college to help pay for tuition and any other crazy college activity I decided to do. I figured I’d settle for the jobs made available on campus like calling strangers and asking for their money or handling the soon to be french fries submerged under a pool of popping grease. However, I have found myself to be working one of the best jobs of all: hanging out with kids.
I have been blessed to be a part of a school that works with America Reads: a work study program that pays college students to tutor and read with children. I have been placed at a preschool/kindergarten right outside of campus, as well as a local elementary school once a week. Spending time with the kids gives me a needed break from college life and peace of mind as I am reminded of the significance of being a child.
This past Wednesday, I walked into the cafeteria of the local elementary school to help with their after school program. Barely stepping through the door, I heard my name called, and I was immediately embraced by a fourth grade girl I had only met the week before. I did not expect to be remembered. I did not think I would have made an impression on any of the students after only one and a half hours one day, and I’d ever believe that someone would get so excited to see me enter a room.
Not only was I relieved that I didn’t have to go through the awkward phase of finding a student to interact with, but I was uplifted with the love this girl openly and wonderfully shown me. She wanted me to stick to her side the rest of the day. She told me stories about her life and even gave me a card about her church.
I understand better now why Jesus tells us to be like little children. Not only are they far more innocent and have more faith, but they openly love, just as God does. Jesus wants us to stick to his side all the time and listen to the stories He tells. I believe Jesus runs up to us excitedly whenever we praise his name or fall on our knees in prayer or helplessness.
I believe God gives us the power to leave impressions of love on others because God is love, and the Holy Spirit reigns in us, and it is meant to flow through us. The greatest lesson I have learned this week is to treat and love everyone as God’s creation. As innocent and excited as child, love others.
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.