Monday, May 3, 2010

Little children teach us about love.

Did I ever mention that Paul and I have been called to be nursery leaders at church? The kids are almost all barely eighteen months old, and they are not yet sure about this nursery business. Last week was really good and the kids were cooperative and had fun, but yesterday was a different story. There were five kids and four of them had meltdowns and eventually had to be taken to their parents. The end of church found us with just one little girl. She was walking around giggling and smiling and having a grand old time without us having to give her much attention at all. I was really grateful for that little girl!

Teaching nursery these last few weeks has been interesting. I am surprised at how much these babies actually do listen, even though I don't think they comprehend much of what I'm trying to teach them just yet. I have a natural sense for teaching, and I can tell when people understand what I'm trying to say to them. (This can be quite gratifying in certain settings when I see people's understanding open, but quite sad in other settings when I just can't seem to reach a person no matter what I say.) I have been fascinated by which things the nursery children are able to understand.

They understand the names of things such as families, scriptures, and food. They have a symbolic understanding. When I show them a picture of a family, they know that the mommy, daddy, brothers and sisters of the picture represent their own families. Mostly, I have seen how well they understand love. When I say that Jesus loves them, they know what that means. It's not at all hard for them to believe that they are loved and that they can love.

It shows how love is central to our makeup as human beings. It's the first thing we understand and the first thing we can give to others. Ultimately, it's the most important thing we can give to everyone and the ability to love others is possibly the greatest power that we have.

We can learn a lot from little children, even if it means putting up with a lot of meltdowns in between.