Children are hurting everywhere. They also know when others are hurting and it concerns them. What can we do for them, and what role does faith play in helping them?
We can use some of the approaches Christ used to express Himself to children. He was called to heal a beloved daughter (Matthew 9:23), raised a widow’s only son from the dead (Luke 7:11–17), and ignored convention by openly embracing little children with His love and affection.
Christ confirmed a child’s value. Little children were important to Christ. He blessed them. He told them how much God loved them. Show a hurting child Matthew 14:19. Remind a child that Christ hears her prayers and is with her. Encourage her to pray and tell God everything she is feeling, asking Him for what she needs. Confirm a child’s worth by listening to him or her. Just be in her presence and let her talk. Christ listens. You listen, too.
Christ loved with a sacrificial love. Christ died for every child who ever lived. His love for us is a demonstration of the love we can show. Spend time with a hurting child doing whatever he can do. I remember the joy my son had one year when his teacher came to the hospital room after his surgery with not only his homework, but a huge smile, a balloon, and a bag of cards from his classmates. It was a wonderful gift to him from a busy teacher.
Christ consoled. Remember that consolation can be silent, a touch to calm, sitting quietly beside a child, holding him in grief, allowing time to pass without hurrying, encouraging a child to write his memories of a beloved pet or person who dies.
Christ offered hope. Christ offered God’s love, an assurance that each life has a purpose. Even if a child doesn’t understand what is happening, he can understand assurances from God’s word. Point out verses like Jeremiah 29:11, John 14: 1-3, John 3;16, John 14:27, help him memorize Scripture. Point to God. Share the gospel in a joyful way and, if he is a believer, assure him of his place in heaven.