The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

April 4, 2014

Hugs, smiles a reminder I’m doing something

I am a social worker. I am one of the few who decide to go into a field that must meet the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable and oppressed population, with very little funding.

On those days when it seems I’m not making much of a difference at all, I always receive a hug or a smile that reminds me I’m doing something. I’m not implying I am solving all the world’s problems, but I am loving children who for the most part seem pretty unlovable most of the time.

They are the ones who get picked last for the team, always end up in the hallway and just can’t seem to sit still. They kick, scream and throw desks. Sometimes they sit in my office and cry and never speak a word. They have dirty fingers, snotty noses and use bad words. They build pretend walls out of sand because they have learned that letting people in only leads to hurt and pain. Loving them in itself is the most important work we can do.

I have spent a lot of time with children and I have learned a few things along the way.

First, be careful who you decide to marry or have children with. This is the single most important decision you can make. It will impact your children greater than anything else.

Second, they see way too much violence. Whether it’s between adults, on television or in video games, children are bombarded with it.

Finally, children need lots of affection from safe, nurturing, adults.

Just some free advice. Actually, it’s all research- based and very good practice. You can Google it if you want to.

How I see it, is that if we want our world to have a better future, we better start investing in our children.

Back in Jesus’ time, women and children were considered some of the least important members of society. But Jesus said in Matthew 19:14: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The faith of little children was a definite contrast to the religious leaders of that time, who let their knowledge and education stand in the way of the simple faith needed to believe in Jesus. He was letting his followers know children were important and valued in the Kingdom of God.

Children are our most valuable resource and the future of our nation. Please remember that when you see a child riding his skateboard in the street, or you complain about his shaggy hair, or that noisy kid on the church bus.

Let love be the answer. For if you do, you will move mountains.

Follow Sarah Thompson, who is a social worker in the Enid area, on Facebook:    www.facebook.com/godsuncommongrace or email her: uncommongrace1@gmail.com

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