In the beginning I fled the children’s questions by hastily leaving their rooms, but soon realized I was meant to hear them and respond. Instead of expecting God to make their lives better, I decided to assume my own role. I sat with children and teenagers when their family members were nowhere to be found–being present with them in their fear, confusion, anger and sorrow. I acknowledged how little I really knew about God’s ways, while exploring what I could do to help. To their never-ending questions, I often said, I don’t know. My refusal to be a know-it-all comforted them. They could see I was in solidarity with them in their suffering.
Suddenly God became very real to me. In the suffering children, the “little ones,” I met the suffering Christ. When I rocked a child in pain, I comforted the suffering God. I remember looking into the faces of young children and asking myself, “Who is this–really–whom I am comforting?” Instead of an impassive, supremely independent God, I met a God who needed me to make a difference in the lives of suffering people. “