I saw Jesus a couple of days ago at the Roma school here in Kosice. He was in the first-grade classroom, standing amidst the desks where the children were working. We had taken their pictures the previous week, and we brought printed copies of those pictures for them. The kids were so excited – many of them don’t see themselves in pictures very often, and many of their families likely don’t have a printed picture at home.
While they colored simple paper picture frames to take home to their parents, we practiced the many words they’ve been learning in English this fall. In their enthusiasm they pressed up to the front of the classroom, begging to look at the pictures and wanting to show us the good work they were doing on the frames. At times it was overwhelming and frustrating to try to get them back to their seats so we could complete the project. A couple of times I started to feel that frustration…
That’s when I spotted Jesus – remembering his words and actions when the disciples were so frustrated by the children. “Let them come to me, don’t try to squelch their enthusiasm! Remember that the Kingdom of God belongs to them, too!” **
Next time you’re around children, imagine Jesus in their midst, accepting their excitement and taking joy in their energetic love. I guarantee you’ll have more patience and love than you did before.
Where did you see Jesus today?
** My paraphrase of Matthew 19:14