“As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Matthew 10: 6-8)
The last couple of classes with the First Grade, we have been getting reading to hear the Gospel story of Jesus raising the little girl from the dead. I haven't let on that we are heading in that direction. Instead, for the first class I made a talking stick out of a paper towel center and marked it like a giant thermometer. We passed it around sharing stories of times we were sick. The first little boy shared that when he was sick, his little sister came into his room and called his name. Remarkably, all eleven other first graders had little brothers or sisters come into their rooms and call their names when they were sick! (So much fun!)
Today, we further prepared by drawing our "sick face" and our "well face." The results were quite expressive. I asked the students why they thought we might be talking about being sick and well. I really didn't expect to get the answer I was looking for, but one little girl immediately shot her hand up and said, "I know." And sure enough, she did. She said, "When Jesus was on earth, he went around making people better."
It is no longer a cause of wonder to me that Jesus instructed us to become like little children. I hope, however, that I never stop wondering at the real presence of Jesus in these little ones.