As I was sitting in the bleachers today, watching my eight year-old grandson’s baseball game, the words of a poem I wrote kept going through my mind…..”if we walk a little slower, they won’t lag behind”. You see, this was not your average baseball game. There were only two innings and the players were not all the same age. Some came up to bat in their wheelchairs while others were assisted by their own personal “buddy”. They didn’t all look alike or act the same, but one thing was universal……they all had a big smile on their face!
The coaches generously gave praise and high fives for each child’s effort and “success”. Although the successes were not based on typical standards, they were the most beautiful successes I have ever seen! My husband, daughter, and son-in-law all joined in to cheer every child regardless of which team he was on. Everyone was enthusiastically rooting for each “child”, not for a specific team.
We all “slowed down” today…… we walked a little slower so they wouldn’t lag behind. We adapted the rules to their needs, to each child’s special needs. And, they had a blast…..we had a blast! These precious children left the baseball field feeling alive and a part of something important. They left with smiles and a new found confidence! And, their parents experienced the gift of being able to sit in the stands and cheer for their child…..something most of us take for granted.
When Jesus admonished His disciples to let the little children come to Him, He slowed down and took time to give them His love and attention. By doing this He acknowledged their value. May each of us slow down from our busy schedules to validate the importance and worth of the children in our lives. And, let’s be sure and not forget about those with special needs. They are truly God’s gifts to us!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14