Jesus loves the little children…

by Christine on January 23, 2012

Matthew 18:10
“See that you don’t despise any of these little ones. Their angels in heaven, I tell you, are always in the presence of my Father in heaven.”

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

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Early last year I volunteered to face paint the children at our church picnic.  I’d never done this but I’ve always had talent for doodling, drawing, sketching, etc.  To make a long story short or if you want more details, check out my other blog, Happy Cheeks Face Painting.  I discovered that I absolutely love to do this!  The joy this brings to children is amazing!

I don’t have any grand children that live close enough that I can practice on so I kindly offered my services, free of charge, to the daycare in our town.  Actually, I’ll do it for free for any community event (so long as I can put out a tip jar – FDA approved face paints are expensive).

I was inspired to offer my services to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital here in Knoxville.  The volunteer coordinator was so excited about this opportunity however, because of how easily germs are transmitted, especially MRSA, face painting the little patients was not an option.  However, while I was being interviewed, I realized that I wanted to do what I could to pursue this hospital’s philosophy, “Because Children are Special…

So, I’m officially a Child Life Volunteer, my charge is the 4th floor where children are either awaiting surgery or coming out of surgery.  Some are minor & others are life threatening.  So far I’ve been through orientation & I’ve “shadowed” an experienced volunteer.  I start my weekly shift Tuesday, February 7th from 12:00 to 4:00.  I cannot wait!

I can barely describe what I have experienced so far.  Children are so resilient!  I came across this little girl – couldn’t have been more than 2 years old.  Her arms were fully covered in bandages & her face looked like it had been burned with water; she was hooked up to an I.V., but she managed to smile when we came in.. we offered her crayons & a coloring book and her face just lit up!  She was so happy to receive this small gift!  Seeing her little broken body broke my heart but seeing her liven up made my day!  I could go on and on describing what I experienced during my training.

The greatest thing about being a volunteer is that our main focus is to keep the children happy no matter what!  If a child wants to play Monopoly, Candyland or color for an hour, that’s what we’re required to do.  If a parent needs a break or has to run out for an errand, they can call on us to sit with their child during their absence.  It’s all about the kids being as comfortable & as happy as possible.  Basically, it’s our mission to make them feel like they are the most important!

In six months I hope to graduate to volunteer “Cuddler” – 30% of infants born at ETCH are from drug addicted moms and need extra special TLC, namely being held and coddled and comforted.  The hospital staff cannot offer this extra care and depend on the volunteers for this.  I’m looking forward to this next stage.

In every child I saw, I could imagine anyone of my grand children.  My heart went out to all the mommies & daddies that were suffering for their children.   Because that’s what I saw.  Sure, many of the little kids are in horrible pain & discomfort but I know the parents’ pain is greater.   It made me think of the enormity of pain our Holy Mother felt as her son was tortured & crucified… or how our Heavenly Father hurts when we hurt.  I saw in the parents a sense of helplessness and it humbled me.   These strangers and their little ones are in our daily prayers…

I have been blessed in that I have not had to go through medical hardships with my daughter and I hope and pray that my children never experience hardships as such with their children.  I just want to give back, or pay it forward.

I feel so blessed and privileged to have been chosen for this task.  Of course I know that this is God at work in my life – this is where He wants me to be.  Thank you Lord for inspiring me to go ahead with this.

No, it’s not a Walmart greeter’s vest – it’s what all volunteers at ETCH are required to wear!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Vandapool January 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Wow, way to go Christine! What a wonderful thing you are doing – I can’t even imagine how edifying it must be for both you and the children. God bless you!

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Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher January 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm

What a wonderful service you are providing to the children! Thank you and God bless!

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