What do you get when you cross:
Gummi Bunnies, Smarties, Mike 'n Ikes, Lemon and Orange Slices, Sour Keys, Tootsie Rolls, Watermelon Slices, Grapefruit Slices, Fireballs, Sour Gummies, Sour Gumballs, and Toxic Waste, mini golf, movies
Nine 13/14 year olds???
A FANTASTIC TIME!!!
My daughter has some of the most wonderful bunch of friends I have ever had the privilege of knowing. They really care about each other, they laugh and cry together, they discuss world events and how they can make a difference. They tease and anger each other, but they always forgive and move on...it is a great thing to witness as these "children" move into adulthood.
I stand back and watch this interaction with a sense of accomplishment as a parent and with a bit of envy.
Kids seem to make and retain friends in an unconditional manner; whereas, adults tend to put so many conditions on friendships. We guard ourselves against hurt with fear in the driver's seat of our relationships (or lack of). Children don't hold back, and more often than not, engage in friendships with a pure, fearless heart.
I think of the scripture that talks about Jesus telling us that we must become like little children to enter into the kingdom of heaven -Matthew 18:3
Childlike faith, pure, fearless love...
When I consider the many people I interact with through out the day, and I think about the friendships I have, I cannot help but wonder how many wonderful souls I am shutting out because of my own insecurities.
There seems to be degrees of friendships in our adult culture as we rate how much we can trust our hearts in the hands of others; however, I think that if we take on that childlike faith, pure, fearless love and prayerfully allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we would have many more friendships and many more opportunities to share the Truth and Love of Jesus Christ. I look at how my daughter interacts with her friends, how she shares Jesus more indirectly by her fearlessness to be a friend, despite differences, and how there is this beauty that contagiously emanates from this group impacting others "outside" this group...something you might expect from a bunch of born-again believers, but rarely see manifested. (That, I believe, is changing though - and I am overjoyed about it!)
Look - we can learn many lessons from children. I know that people can and do take advantage of children and those with childlike faith - we all know that. I want to encourage us to gird ourselves with the Love and Truth of Jesus Christ, and with the security of knowing that we belong to the King. Our identity is in Him and because of that, though we should be wise in our interactions with others (wise doesn't mean guarded out of fear), we should not be afraid to make friends and be a friend.
Right now, in my basement, are a wonderful bunch of friends laughing and singing karaoke without a care in the world - It brings my heart great joy to hear this...I hope to hear it more and more.