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baby boomer hugging preschoolerWhile I was teaching Children’s Church one Sunday to 3 to 5 year olds, a four year old girl was brought in from the older class with the explanation that she should be in our class instead. Which was true.

Being new to our church and new to this group of 16 rambunctious preschoolers, she quickly gravitated toward me, the teacher. I was sitting in the rocking chair reading a story to the children.

As she pressed her body into mine to get as close as she could, I instinctively wrapped my right arm around her to communicate to her security and acceptance by me, a complete stranger to her.

It was impossible to continue to read the book since I needed to also be turning the pages and panning the book so all the children could see it.

Children want to feel this way. Read the lesson I learned while teaching Children's Church.So I asked my sweet newest buddy if she wanted to sit on my lap. Her eagerness was almost comical and she settled in on left side now with my left arm supporting her, freeing up my right hand to hold the book, pan the book, turn the pages, etc. (I sure am glad God gave us two arms and hands. I am also certain that many moms have wished for a third arm to keep up all the juggling we do!)

The story was quite intriguing to my enraptured audience as I got the children to repeat a phrase that the wayward child in the story kept saying.  Now the average child is totally hooked into the anticipation of seeing the next page. I mean, even as an adult, I often respond to curiousity to watch a youtube video or click on a link to check out what it was promising. In the same way, children are almost falling over each other to see the next page!

So it would stand to reason that this little girl would want to see the pictures in the book. Right? But in order to do that, she would have to give up her place on my lap with my arm securely around her to instead sit in front of me and see the pictures.

Do you know what she chose? Yep, you are right. She chose the security and love found in my embrace and being close to me over seeing the pictures in the story.

You see, our hands . . . our touch . . . can communicate love. It’s like our hands have their own language.

I learned something from that sweet child.

I learned that often when a small child snuggles up to an adult, they are seeking to feel secure and safe and maybe even loved. That I respected her need to be close to me communicated to her that she was safe in my presence and that I cared about her.

It reminds me of how Jesus wants us to come to Him like a little, trusting child. Matthew 19:14 says “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (NKJV)

When we come to Jesus, we feel safe and secure, and best of all, loved with an everlasting love.

Share how you have felt particularly loved by friend or family member and what they did to make you feel that way.