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Children Are Welcome Here

Rarely, is there ambivalence.  They are either loved or scorned.  Children are everywhere.  Although everyone understands the need for children in order for mankind to continue to exist, that does not mean that everyone loves children.  You have seen the faces of folks on an airplane when a very active child sits beside or behind a traveler that is not eager to be distracted with crying, poking, hyper-activity, squirming, or worst of all “throw up”.  How about that waiting time in the doctor’s office before you can go back to get help for your fever, sore throat, and total malaise?  And, right beside you in the packed row of chairs is an 18 month old “set of lungs” with legs attached? The screaming that is being done would rival any horror house in America on Halloween and it is non-stop!

Children can be so cute and loving or they can be complete terrorists disguised as someone’s grandchild. When a child is disruptive, everyone around them is disrupted.  Often, other adults will stare at a weary and beleaguered mom with the look that has no sympathy.  Rather, the sentiment conveyed by those casting the “evil eye” is “why don’t you do something about your child’s misbehaving?”  Sometimes, they are too exhausted to intervene.  And, sometimes they are numb from intervening for too many hours without relief.

Children know when and where they are loved and accepted.  That is why so often they long to go to “grandma’s” house where cookies abound, everything takes a back seat to their desires, play times are endless, and nap times are optional.  We learn very early that all people and all places are not the same. We want to be where we are loved and can get the attention and help we need.

Jesus was “welcoming” to children.  He delighted in them. It was Jesus who said, “Let the children come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt.19:14).

When Einstein fled Nazi Germany, he came to America and bought an old two-story house within walking distance of Princeton University. There he entertained some of the most distinguished people of his day and discussed with them issues as far ranging as physics to human rights. 

But Einstein had another frequent visitor. She was not, in the world’s eyes, an important person like his other guests. She was a ten-year-old girl named Emmy. Emmy heard that a very kind man who knew a lot about mathematics had moved into her neighborhood. Since she was having trouble with her fifth-grade arithmetic, she decided to visit the man down the block and see if he would help her with her problems. Einstein was very willing and explained everything to her so that she could understand it. He also told her she was welcome to come anytime she needed help.

A few weeks later, one of the neighbors told Emmy’s mother that Emmy was often seen entering the house of the world-famous physicist. Horrified, she told her daughter that Einstein was a very important man, whose time was very valuable, and he couldn’t be bothered with the problems of a little schoolgirl. And then she rushed over to Einstein’s house, and when Einstein answered the door, she started trying to blurt out an apology for her daughter’s intrusion – for being such a bother. But Einstein cut her off. He said, “She has not been bothering me! When a child finds such joy in learning, then it is my joy to help her learn! Please don’t stop Emmy from coming to me with her school problems. She is welcome in this house anytime.”  (Copied).