Working at a daycare the past five years of my life has had its ups and downs. I have always had a huge heart for children. They’re cute, funny and the ridiculous things they say just make them 10 times better. But when it comes to wiping butts and cleaning runny noses, it’s not always so fun.
Although working with children has it’s “dirty work,” the past few weeks I have learned more about Jesus and the way we are called to love others more than I have in my adult life.
1. Kids forgive so easily.
Kids would rather suffer the pain and forgive than have that relationship terminated. For instance, one day I was outside playing with one of the 4-year-olds when I accidentally stumbled on one of my little friends. I apologized instantly and they replied, “It’s okay, Ms. Carli, just keep playing!” They would rather hold on to the good than remember the bad.
2. Kids are all inclusive instead of exclusive.
They believe the more the merrier, whereas adults only want those they feel comfortable with. I have been invited to more tea parties this summer than I have dinner dates with my friends.
3. Kids are trusting.
I mean they are left with us sometimes 12 hours a day. They believe the best in people. They would never anticipate anyone harming them. They see the best in people. I see a child get hit by a friend, and then they are back playing with them 15 seconds later. No matter how many times they have been hurt by someone close, they still put their faith in believing the best.
4. Kids love. Plain and simple. They love everyone.
These children want to love. And they want to be loved. It’s crazy to think as adults we reject love sometimes when kids would never. They want to be held, kissed on and nurtured all day every day. We reject love because it doesn’t come in the package that we think it should. And it makes us uncomfortable or maybe it reveals something about ourselves.
5. Kids recognize when they are wrong.
I witnessed a child bite her friend like she hadn’t eaten all day. She immediately hugged her friend as soon as it happened and said, “Shh, it’s okay.” They instantly know when they are wrong and can apologize easily even without prompting.
6. Kids are truthful. Almost woundingly truthful.
A few days ago, I wore my hair natural (big and frizzy) to work. I walked into my classroom and said hello to my favorite little 2-year-old, Miles. As soon as he sees me, he starts hysterically crying and says, “Ms. Carli, why your hair like that? I don’t like it! Take it off!” As truthful as little kids can be, they make us realize the need for honesty as well as new hair products.
What if we started acting with these qualities? How different would life be for us? I believe this is what Jesus meant when He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Sharing your past, your failures, and all your junk doesn't only bring you the freedom and healing that the Lord is so clearly offering us, but it reminds others that they're not alone in this broken world.