Today is a special day. My oldest granddaughter turns 10. She is very excited and rightly so. Watching her run out of school and run into my arms for her birthday hug reminded me of the important responsibility we adults have with the children in our lives – and, not only the children related to us, but all of God’s children; even those in our churches. How are we responding to their excitement and curiosity about life?
It seems to me that too often we expect children to come to us with questions about how God works in their lives, or how they can deal with a bully, or even how to handle a math problem at school. But children are new at this living thing. They have to be taught that not knowing something doesn’t mean they’re not good enough. Not knowing something indicates that we, as trusted adults, should invite them to explore by asking questions.
The most common question children ask is “why?” That is an absolutely wonderful question. How do we answer that? “I don’t know,” is an ok answer, followed by “Let’s find out together.”
Children need stability and safety. They need adults who care and will take time with them. So, the next time a child in Sunday school asks”why?” just be with them while you explore the answer together. Keep them safe and invite them into reflections on life.