I remember one of the first days I experienced the joy of the Honduran children of Las Flores. Wild, sweet, overflowing joy that radiated from their faces when you so much as smiled at them.
I couldn’t engage in conversation with them very well because of my lack of Spanish, but I soon learned that they didn’t care. They hugged, laughed, and played. They ran around, creating chaos.
Usually I take a step backwards from a high-energy crowd, but this was different. They needed me. They needed my love.
I didn’t know enough Spanish, so I couldn’t give it in words. And what are words to children anyway? All I could do in that moment was forsake all and plunge into the chaos. And what a relief that was, breaking the language barrier with the unspoken message loud and clear: “Yo te ama,” or “I love you.”
I didn’t know them, but God gave me unrelenting love for those kids. I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t stop trying to make them smile. I chased them around, tickled them, played games, and proved to myself that I must be a kid person after all. It makes sense, I guess. God loves children, and His Spirit is inside me.
Not only did God give me love for the kids, but I learned to be a child myself that day. I learned joy. I learned childlike faith. That’s what God wants for us. When we are like children, we can rejoice in God’s love for us without a single doubt of our Father’s goodness.
Sometimes I don’t understand how God could truly love us. But even if we can’t completely understand it, like a simple child, we can understand that it makes us feel alive.
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” — Luke 18:15-17