"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." (Mark 10:14 NIV)
In his book Too Small to Ignore Wess Stafford gives a fascinating account of this life growing up as an MK in a village in Cote D’Ivore and then later boarding school. He talks about life in the village in almost in an nostalgic way, but never giving into writing that everything was perfect in that village. Children, including him, growing up in that village were completely integrated into society and played an important role in the economy. Stafford’s boarding school experience was a stark contrast. Almost daily Stafford suffered abuse from the mission staff who were meant to protect and nurture him.
After giving the background to some of the reasons why his thinks that children are so important Stafford then goes on to talk about how Jesus feels about children, how God used children in the Bible and is still using them today. Throughout the book Stafford sends the message that children should not be ignored or swept away until they reach adulthood. Jesus thought children were so important that he became ‘indigent’ when the disciples tried to keep them away for them (Mark 10:14 NIV). Children are for today and each time we interact with a child we have a chance to shape their life positively.
As a librarian at an International Christian School this book has challenged me to think about how important the children I work with really are to the kingdom of God. Every time I teach a child a new skill, encourage them or even just spend a few minutes listening to them I am showing them that they are valued and important. Often times I struggle with how to integrate Biblical principles into my lessons and how to share Christ with my students. Even though I need to continue working on this, perhaps I have already modeled Christ more than I thought by making the library an inviting and kid friendly place.
I highly recommend that everyone, especially people who work with children, read this book. It will give you a greater appreciation of children and how precious they are in Jesus’ sight.