Dirty Diapers and Runny Noses
By Linda Gray
And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40 (ESV)
As a teenager, I babysat a lot! I have always loved children. However, God did not bless me and my husband with children of our own. So, I try to find ways to be with kids.
I retired in June 2017. I had worked as an office manager at a university for almost 22 years. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to find another job or volunteer somewhere. All I knew was that I wanted to make a difference wherever God would lead.
The church where I was a member had a Morning Out Ministry Preschool. The director asked if I would like to volunteer. I prayed about it and said yes. So, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I assisted the 1 and 2 year-old teacher in teaching -- more like corralling -- seven little ones.
Lots of lessons can be learned from that age group:
- Each child is either the only child or the baby of the family. They have only been on this earth a short time and have lots to learn about life in general.
- God pointed out that I have often acted like a two-year-old.
- Sharing is a learned skill. I have been selfish at times.
- It is easier to nail jello to a wall, than get small children to sit quietly all at once.
- I have been messy and needed God to clean up after me.
The greatest lesson I learned happened as I was “preparing” myself to change a “blow-out” diaper. Not all of our charges were potty trained. As I was gathering the diaper and wipes, the Lord showed me that this was an act of service. And as I was changing the little one, I looked into his eyes and told him how much he was loved by God and by me.
I probably don’t need to mention the boxes of tissue used while chasing down runny noses. Someone always had a cold. Which meant I had many colds during my stint there.
Jesus had a special place in His heart for children. His disciples saw them as a nuisance. The passage in Matthew 19:13-16 displays this difference of opinions. Parents were bringing their children to Jesus. Perhaps they had been playing and were a little dirty. Some may have had drippy noses.
As the disciples were shooing them away, Jesus draws them near. They are plopped down on His lap--sticky fingers and all. Children always have sticky fingers. And the Master places His loving hands on their heads and blesses them.
The Gospels reveal another aspect of Jesus' love for little ones. Matthew 18:2-5, Mark 35-37, and Luke 9:48-50 paint the picture of how we are to treat children. They are not nuisances. But an example of how we are to come to Christ.
So, back to runny noses, dirty diapers. What about other "small" acts that we do each day. Can these be acts of service? As moms and housewives, we get to serve our families every day. Chores that may seem mundane to us, may be a blessing to our husbands and children. Not a wife nor a mom? You, too, are given opportunities to serve. And what makes these chores acts of service? Our attitude.
Dear Father, You place many opportunities of service in my path every day. May I be aware that what I do for the “least of these” I have done for You. Amen.
© 2020 by Linda Gray. All rights reserved.
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