My very part-time ministry is helping with pastoral care at Faith Church. I am able to be flexible with my time, making visits when people need it (in rehab or the hospital), as well as when it is possible for me (two little kids!). Most of the visits I make on my own, but sometimes one or both of the kids come along.
Generally, those we visit love the presence of the kids. Sometimes I have to cut the visits short and conversation doesn’t go very deep, but the little smiles and cute antics bring smiles. The unexpected bonus is what my kids are getting out of it. My son talks about how he does a “great job making people happy.” Then my daughter, who has been doing this since she was tiny, finds it natural to go into new situations and make friends. Both are very used to people have different physical abilities, easily adapting their approach if needed. I don’t push them into anything, letting them take their time to become comfortable.
Without these opportunities, or the casual interactions at church, their contact with those over 65 would be few and far between (grandparents live out-of-state). I often wonder what their lives would be like, especially as they grow, with little contact with “seniors”? If/when my situations changes, I will work hard to keep this contact going – continuing to visit friends I have made and/or volunteering with them at a Senior Residence.
God, Thank you for the opportunities to get to know others. Thank you for their patience with my children, and their delight that reminds me just how wonderful my children are. Please continue to be with my kids, helping them get to know others without the distractions of differences. Amen.