Today was our annual Reunion on my mom's side. Although it wasn't as well attended as it has been some years, it was fun seeing everyone. The children are all growing much too quickly. A couple cousins had new wives to show off. And it was simply good fellowship - all the way around.
One of my nieces has two little girls, one three and one two. My granddaughters are 10 and my younger grandson is eight. They all think these two little girls (and their baby brother) are fascinating. I was trying to get my grandchildren to be more comfortable in assuming responsibility for the little ones, so I took my four and the two little girls over to the larger playground at the park. (I've found that children are much more asserting when they don't have a battery of parental eyes trained on them.) The older children were talking to the little girls in baby talk, which was especially funny since the three-year-old can talk almost as plainly as they do! Even the two-year-old is talking very maturely for her age. But it was a new experience for my grandchildren, and they were loving the opportunity it afforded them to "mommy" these little girls. After the daddy came to pick the little ones up, my grandchildren kept saying, "Granny, aren't they cute? They're so sweet." They were mesmermized.
That's the way it always is with little ones. People, in general, are drawn to them. We want to protect them. We want to make them smile, and we like to feel that, in some way, they're drawn to us.
I'm finding that true with the young married couples we're dealing with, too. When we have new ones that come into the class that are so open and willing to be taught, it makes me want to protect that innocence. I want to see them smile and feel that I have, in some small way, added value to their life. The Bible talks about the older women teaching the younger, and that doesn't happen by mouthing words. Our former pastor's wife used to say often, "Some things are caught more than taught." That's what discipling is all about. Not only giving someone the foundation of the Word, but showing them by our everyday living that walking with God is so very worth it!
While my grandchildren today longed for the little girls to trust them, feel comfortable with them, and even seek them out, they hardly knew what steps to take to make that happen. If they could spend more time with their little cousins (without the parents present), it would certainly make for a comfortable atmosphere for bonding. While I, too, long for my young friends to trust me, feel comfortable with me and even seek me out, it will only come as I cultivate my friendship with them. As they get to know me and I get to know them, real friendship will be birthed.
God doesn't put us where we are for no reason. There are people around you everyday that you can touch in a positive way for Him. It may sound trite, but it's true -- there are people you can touch that no one else would be able to reach. Make an effort to be a friend. Be faithful to go the second mile. Don't be upset when you have to spend a little extra time with someone who is reaching out. The pay-off is great. I've said for years that, when you make a friend of a child, you have a friend for life. The same is true with God's little ones. When you take the time to be a true friend, you'll have a friendship that will last a lifetime. It's worth every effort.