As I was driving down the street on one of the last sunny days of summer. I was greeted by several neighborhood kids riding bikes, walking on sidewalks, jumping rope “Hi Mom!” they would shout at me. Smiling and waving as hard as they could, looking for my attention as I drove by. I waved back, shouting out their names as I drove by “Hi Lizzie! Hi Sunny! and so on.” A few would run up to the car to greet me as I drove into the driveway and got out of the car. Some would offer to help me with groceries.
As I unloaded the groceries with the kids…all except my own…I wondered..”what’s the big attraction here?” It really got me to thinking about which kids were helping me. Each one came from a family that was having struggles.
For many years, especially when my children were younger, I did everything possible to protect them from undesirable influences. This of course meant being very careful who my children played with. Now that they are older and foundations have been layed I give more freedom for them to play with children with lots of different backgrounds. So we have all kinds of kids at our home all the time.
What I didn’t realize was how much it meant to these kids to come into our home and be like part of the family. Like having dinner with us, helping with groceries even just talking about the events of the day. The more I came to know these children the more I began to have a special love for them. Oh I know, I should have always felt this way, but I didn’t. I had my own family with my own kids. We were raising the perfect kids (LOL)
I didn’t really like to be bothered with the inappropriate comments of these neighborhood kids. I didn’t want to hear about what was going on in there homes and I certainly didn’t want my children to know about the struggles in these homes!
It’s so easy to get caught up in our own families and lives. Trying to shut the world out…even other children out. I know we have to be careful. But what would Jesus do? Jesus said:
- “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never inter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:14-15
I love how Jesus took them into his arms.
Summer is now over and we will be very busy with sports and school activities. Here in the Pacific Northwest we will be indoors a lot and will not see the neighborhood kids as much. I must ask myself, did I let the little children come? Did I take them into my arms? The waves and hugs and “hi moms” would suggest that I did, but only Jesus knows how much or how little I truly gave of myself.
Could I have another chance Jesus?
Did you know that their are 13.7 million single family homes* and over 65% of Americans are now a stepparent, a stepchild, a stepsibling, step-grandparent or touched directly by a stepfamily scenario.**