Monday, June 16, 2008

A Child's Touch

Have you ever noticed how one touch, one smile, one tear, or one simple hug from a child can absolutely melt or break your heart? I have always loved kids, and in time, hope to have my own. However, before moving to Japan, I would have never dreamed of being a Kindergarten teacher! This past week I have had two images in my head. One, is a picture that I took, of 3 kids throwing their heads back in laughter. The second, is of a small hand in the palm of a larger hand. Although the second image is only a mental one, it is an image that I have the privilege of experiencing daily. As I mentioned, I have always loved children, but it has been the daily interaction with them that has made me realize the simple, natural and genuine love that is in them. Sure, there are some that make you wonder if it is in all of them, but for the most part it is a natural thing for a child to love!

Having said all of this, it is no wonder that God reminded us to have the heart and mind of a child. To look into a child's' eyes allows you to see a purity, a hope, a trust and an unconditional love. How many things on this earth have those qualities? I can't help but notice how God is using these children to remind me to be more like them in these qualities. When a child comes up and just holds my hand and simply wants to walk with me, or they come running from across the playground to jump into my arms and hug my neck with all they have. Within the first 5 minutes of walking into school I will lose count of how many hi-fives I have gotten, and will have been greeted by so many sweet hellos that I don't know if I actually got to respond to all of them. It's amazing to me how God chooses to show us His love, and also reminds me of how He wants me to love him. I keep getting reminded, with oh so gentle reminders, that I am God's little girl. He wants to be my Daddy. He wants me to put my small hand in His, just to simply walk with him. He wants me to call out to Him, from wherever I am, to show Him something I am really excited about. He wants to come and pick me up when I have scraped my knee and tears roll down my face. When I have messed up He wants to pat me on the head and say, “It's ok, you'll do better next time. I love you kiddo.” Why don't I let Him do all of these things?

As I have gotten older, my parents have seen me become my own person. At first, they kept a tight reign on me to teach me how to do it. As they started to loosen the reigns, and allow me to fall and get back up, I learned and began to walk on my own. I remember a time when I thought to myself, “I am old enough, I don't need my parents help.” This is a normal reaction for most kids. As I have gotten older, I realize that I did need my parents' help, and am so glad that they allowed me to figure this out on my own. So here is the question. In our lives, have we grown “too old” for God? Have we said, “I am too old for this “baby” stuff, I can do it on my own.”? My honest answer would have to be yes. Sure, I may not have spoken these words, but my actions show otherwise. I try to take all of life on my back and keep it to myself. Why? My Daddy wants to share in my life. He wants to know when I am down or ecstatic or overjoyed or grieving. I am learning more and more that I need to give my Daddy the chance to hold me, pick me up when I'm hurt or throw me up in the air because I am so happy. Just as I melt when one of my kids grabs my hand, throws their head back and laughs, wraps their arms around my neck, so does my Father when I do those things with Him. One last thought, my favorite thing to hear from these kids is, “Elaina Sensei, daisuki.” Translation? Elaina teacher, I love you. When was the last time you told your Daddy, earthly or heavenly, that you love him? He needs to hear it too.

To my earthly Dad: Pop, thank you for being a Daddy that loved me enough to discipline and teach me. Most of all, thank you for never hesitating to pick me up or hug me and tell me that you love me. Happy Fathers' Day, I Love You!

1 comment:

OK Chick said...

I love the picture! So picture. I heard about your big trip coming up. Sounds like lots of fun!