By Esther Jang, Outreach Worker in Flemingdon Park
As an outreach worker, it is so easy to wrap yourself around the idea that I am going to set a great example to the younger kids through my speech and actions – I am going to be teaching a lesson and they will learn from from me because I am older and wiser – and it goes on. But we forget that kids have so much to offer, to teach, to show through their day to day life during free time, snack time, games, or arts and crafts. The best part is – they’re not even aware of it. They teach us about life by simply living it, without making up a lesson plan.
During these past few years at TCM (as a volunteer, summer intern and now an Outreach Worker), I’ve learned a number of amazing qualities about kids that as adults, we have either lost or forgotten. If you have worked/played with kids or even just observed them, you will notice one common trait; they easily forgive. Have you seen kids trying to knock each other out, screaming, “THAT’S MINE! YOU STOLE IT”, and after a brief moment of intervention and consultation, they’re running around and playing with each other again…but this time, with happy screams?
I’ve seen countless times where kids have fought with each other, whether it was intense or not, and have forgiven each other easily after they have said, “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” And of course, they do it again, but they forgive each other again and the cycle goes on.
I believe that forgiveness is one of the most beautiful and pure traits of kids, which even leads to unconditional love. The fact that someone chooses to forgive someone despite their flaws and brokenness is a demonstration of that same unconditional love that Jesus has shown us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” Ephesians 4:32. Forgiveness is definitely one trait that many adults can learn in the midst of our hardened hearts in the challenges of life.
When the disciples asked Jesus, “’Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me'” Matthew 18:1-5.
Observing the kids at Flemingdon Park has humbled me and reminded me the importance of forgiveness, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” 1 Timothy 4:12.
I thank God for their great example in my life.