“If you’re tired, sit with a kid.”
Great advice for teams who come to the Heart to Heart children’s village in Honduras. Despite the heat and humidity, teams work on construction projects (building the houses, school, church), repair worn out buildings, create playground equipment, establish gardens, play soccer and basketball, play frisbee and chase. All of it taking a sweaty toll on the body. So when someone finally gets worn out, the best advice is not to sit alone, but to sit with one of the kids. Their ability to refresh the body and soul by their mere presence is amazing.
All of the work we do is for them. Hard, backbreaking work at times. But none of the work would exist or be needed if not for the children. And so we, who can be caught up in the busyness of our tasks, must make a point to stop and be restored. There is no greater salve to the soul than to see little faces light up with the knowledge they are loved. They love to sit in our laps, just being. Some of them talk, but most are happy to have loving arms wrapped around their small shoulders, reassuring them.
The joy I feel when I am able to pour my unconditional love into these children must pale in comparison to the joy my Father feels when I allow Him to love me as He intended. When I quiet my soul and look to His face, God is able to whisper “You are my beloved.” Do I willingly accept His love or do I try to rush to my next activity? Do I believe He loves me for who I am, or do I perform and try to prove I am worthy of such adoration?
The children in Honduras continue to teach me so much by their examples – life lessons on acceptance, compassion vs. competition, hope, perseverance, empathy, and most of all unconditional love. Unlike my striving soul, these precious children know how to simply sit and be loved. They know their worth lies in God’s eyes and they don’t need to prove it. Unfortunately I had to say goodbye to my little loves today. As our van pulled away, my daughter and I held one another and sobbed. As we return home, rather than wallow in self pity, I hope I can honor the kids by finally learning what they know despite their youth: to rest in my Father’s arms and fully embrace His gracious Love.