An Elementary Attitude

by Paula Harrington
childrenhelping1.jpgOne of my duties at school is to man the cafeteria during lunch hour. Although it can get rather hectic, it gives me time around children that I wouldn’t regularly see throughout the day.
Recently, a co-worker told the story of a family she knew who had a little girl who is on dialysis. They had asked the public to collect plastic bottle taps and for every top collected, the child would receive free dialysis time. We decided that our cafeteria could help, so I quieted the students and explained.
I told them about the little girl who lived in a neighboring county. I explained that we could help her by giving our bottle tops. You should’ve seen the excitement. They hastily tore the tops from their milk bottles and gladly pitched them in the bucket.
After the tops were collected, I noticed a third grader getting out of his seat. He marched all the way to the back of the room and was almost to me, before I noticed the cash in his hand. He handed me his ice cream money for the week and then with a sincere tone, made this request, “Please give this to that little sick girl. She needs it more than I do.”
The heart of a child is a wonderful thing. When they see someone in need, they react. They don’t analyze the situation. They don’t talk themselves out of getting involved. They don’t form a committee and discuss benevolence; they just do what needs to be done and they do it cheerfully.
They love, trust, and give not because of what they can gain but because it comes naturally to them. Maybe that’s why Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
It doesn’t take a retirement plan, a passport, or even a college degree to make a difference in this world. All it takes is a big heart, an opportunity, and a desire to help someone less fortunate.
Dear Lord, help us to be more like the little children.

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Paula Harrington

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