Play With Your Children

One of the first things that happens when I get to the village Chontal is the kids get excited. You know why the kids get excited? It’s because that means there might be snow this year, there might be Santa. It means that there’s going to be a grown-up to play with them. It means an adult is going to put everything aside and play the wolf game, the mouse game, tag, and the rest. It means there’s an adult who is going to listen to them, to smile at them. To waste some time with them. To follow them. To learn from them. An adult who will come down from adult world and enter into their own world and accompany them.

When I arrived this time at the village, there was some heartbreaking news. A 14-year-old from the next-door village who goes to the school here had committed suicide. At the beginning of December, three siblings between 9 and 13 years old – nieces and nephew of the first girl – also committed suicide in the same way. When I arrived the teachers were still crying. Nobody knows what to do, and it’s basically swept under the carpet. I took copies of the their photos and have their names, so that they will never be forgotten. And I cried. I thought, if those kids had an adult who would just once in a while come down from the adult world and enter into theirs and be with them, this would never have happened.

But there wasn’t even one.

Christmas is the day when the Son of God comes down from God world and enters into our world. Jesus could have stayed in God world and told us what to do from there. He could have stayed in God world and provided for us with education, and opportunities, and safety, and sound, God-world advice. He could have worked hard to make the earth an even better place, so that we would have had a great home to grow up and live in. He could have stayed in God world and taken us to the doctor or our sports practices and games. From God-world, he could have taken us to places to travel and give us new experiences, and he could have given us a great inheritance.

But he didn’t.

What we celebrate at Christmas, what it’s all about, is that Jesus didn’t do any of that. He put all that aside, and came down from God world and entered into ours.

To listen to us. To follow us. To accompany us. To waste time with us.

Because that is what saves us from death.

If you are a parent, do you know that you are invited to follow Jesus? You are invited to leave your adult world and come down and enter the world of children. To listen to them. Follow them. Accompany them. Give them the greatest gift that you can give, life instead of death.

Play with your children!

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3-4)

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Norma Moreno Torres

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Evelyn Tufiño Moreno

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Edwin Tufiño Moreno

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Consuelo Tufiño Moreno

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4 thoughts on “Play With Your Children

  1. What a lovely and heartbreaking post. I live in a small fishing village on the Gulf coast of Mexico and the kids there call me Mrs. Santa Claus because I have run a toy drive there for seven years. I’ve also done drive-by baseball mitt and ball drops to kids just walking down the street. But your post has me questioning if I’ve ever really come down from my world to mingle in theirs. I think it’s high time. Thank you for this gentle nudge. BTW, I’d love to hear more of your background story, it sounds like we have a lot in common.

    • Hi Kay Mary, if you read this, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, it’s in part because I haven’t had a lot of internet access over the last few months. I wish you many blessings in the work you’re doing, lifting up the life of the kids.

  2. This made me sad. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about lately; as Americans, we are so busy that sometimes we forget to really look and see our own children. Somehow we have forgotten how to have conversations. We are really good at talking AT our children, though. Sigh. Thank you for the reminder. I will enter into their world. I will play.

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