Welcome is a word for young children and mothers. Tweens and teenagers have chased it from their vocabulary so they can focus on themselves. Do you remember the world? No amount of coaxing can move these mini-adults into a room where they fear being unwelcome. It could be the true exclusion of the teenage crowd. Or just uncertainty because the unknown girls in the corner are laughing and whispering (about me? she wonders).
Like most notable character qualities, moms must teach their kids to be welcoming. Welcome is an anomaly of admirable qualities because as small children, welcomeness was instinctive. Squeals of delight and outstretched sticky hands were instant and uncontrollable. Later, hormones, mean kids, and self-doubt erase the abandoning kind of welcome. Thank goodness for mothers who remind us to stop whispering in groups, to remember a friend’s food allergy and to smile at the new kid while offering some food. This refined welcome replaces the abandon.
And while we mourn the wild welcome of toddlers, do we really want our teenage girls to greet people with slobbery kisses and refusals to let go of legs? Jesus welcomed others, of all races and sexes into his inner circle, with gentle eyes (of this I am sure), and kind words, and many times extra food. Pray with me that our children will learn to welcome.
Joyfully writing with friends today for 5-minutes of writing abandon at Lisa Jo’s. Won’t you join us? The word today? Welcome