Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
I don’t think there is more important work than pouring love into the lives of children.
Some would argue against this, but they would not convince me otherwise.
What this outpouring of love looks like can vary greatly (the lives of Shauna and I can attest to that first hand). However, more often than not it is simply letting young people be themselves; providing a safe, supportive environment and friendship for them to blossom freely.
I volunteer downtown Kansas City at Mission Adelente (actually Shauna and I both do). Last week I received the best compliment I’ve ever gotten (not that it’s about me, but my heart was beaming).
“For the first time ever, I could paint whatever I wanted without someone telling me what or how to do it”
How awesome is that? This was such a huge deal not because the projects turned out awesome(which they did), but because this young man felt safe enough to express this in front of his mentors and peers AND felt free enough to create in his own way.
Too often, too many expectations are placed on children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about high standards and raising children that know how to behave nicely. It’s a delicate balancing act figuring out when to harness children in and when to let them run free.
When it comes to creativity (whatever that may look like for the kids you know), always err on the side of freedom! Seriously, what is the worst that could happen, some paint is spilled and stains the carpet… that’s what carpet cleaner is for!
When we give kids freedom to be themselves, to create with wild abandon, something beautiful happens; both physically in their art, but also internally.
We are created in the image of our Creator, of the ultimate Creator. I 100% believe it does our souls good to create.
In His eyes we are all children creating. Our lives are our work of art; some more obviously than others. But, every day we are making something.
So let them paint. Let them make sand castles…even if the sand is blue and sticks to everything. Let them play in the mud and build entire universes in their mind.
And here’s a crazy idea, join them.
Get messy. Build something.
View your life as art and see what you can create with it.
We are created in the image of the ultimate Creator, don’t hold yourself back, and certainly don’t hold the kids back!
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.- Genesis 1:27 (NIV)