I don’t have much experience outside the United States. And Colorado Springs isn’t exactly cross-cultural, what with the mecca of Christian community here. But for the better part of a week, I spent each morning with the most darling children of missionaries, who have each spent most of their little lives in countries I’ve never seen.
To be loved by a child is a funny thing. It’s much like what I heard from every student I talked with upon their returns from short-term missions trips. “I thought I was going to help them grow, instead they taught me so much!” is what they all say. With children, it’s the same. I thought I’d teach them games, show them how to color, practice one-syllable words with them, and sing Sesame Street songs.
Yet, I became broken at the foot of the cross when I saw their little arms outstretched towards me, the universal sign that they want to be held. I breathed deep and sniffled when they’d lay their head on my shoulder, their eyes glued to Big Bird on the television behind me.
And even though I laughed when my favorite little blonde boy tried to blow a puff of air in my face, I was grasping for the Father’s hand when he reached up to hold my two smallest fingers, his other thumb in his mouth. At 9am each day that week, love was the cross-cultural language.