“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15)
Children see the world in a different light. Even as adults we sometimes see the world through rose-colored glasses, and we still know that it’s not always black and white. So when it comes to something as important as their health, we don’t ever want our children to see the gray areas that sometimes exist in grown-up health care realities. Our January UMW Luncheon is devoted to all the little children who are so sacred to us and all the people who take care of them when skies are gray.
JonAnna Reidinger, Vice President of UMW Programs, says that one of the reasons UMW chose Cook Children’s Medical Center as a sacred space is because the children of Fort Worth are sacred to us and she believes that no one takes care of critically ill children better than Cook Children’s does. Even its mission statement is more promise than mission: “Knowing that every child’s life is sacred, it is the promise of Cook Children’s to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease, and injury.”
“We are so fortunate to have Cook Children’s in our city,” JonAnna exclaims. “They literally save lives and care for the complete family and support them there.” UMW President Lynn Cockrell recalls a time when her own grandson was in and out of Cook Children’s several times when he was only 6 weeks old. “He had surgery and they did take care of the whole family,” Lynn adds. “You end up experiencing its services, and I’m so thankful that it’s in our community and the surrounding areas.”
Pam Foster from Cook Children’s Medical Center will tell us how this sacred space cares for the sacred children of our Greater Fort Worth community. As Director of Pastoral Care at Cook Children’s, she has seen ministry happen in unexpected places and unexpected ways. As Pam puts it, chaplains are ecumenical so they believe that all children are sacred regardless of their faith stance. “Pastoral care allows us to bring a reminder of God’s presence to every situation here,” she explains. “Everyone has faith — whether stated in nice church language or not — and we take the time to hear about that.”
Pam says that because humans are created in the image of God, children bear the image of God from birth — we don’t have to wait for them to grow it. “Children have a spirituality and nature that is so intrinsic that it is sometimes overlooked or undervalued,” Pam adds. “There is a wisdom that shines from the eyes of a child regardless of age. Children are so open to spiritual possibilities. They haven’t already built a box and put everything in it like adults who miss that sometimes.”
That’s why it’s so important to put your heart and soul into being there for a child who holds hope so dear to the heart. When thinking back on the time she spent caring for one particular child and family, there is an image that reminds Pam of Christ’s blood shed on the cross and the words from the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” As she cared for that family, the words from that hymn came to mind:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Pam encourages everyone to serve with Cook Children’s in caring for our sacred children. Join us on Tuesday, January 10, at 11:30 am in Wesley Hall to hear more about those who give their all and the little ones who need it the most.
All women are invited to Luncheons & Programs sponsored by United Methodist Women. Please RSVP and make your child care reservations by noon on Friday, January 6. We look forward to seeing you at our January UMW Luncheon!
Child Care: Paula Wagstaff | firstname.lastname@example.org