Kids' club is in full swing. I love the sisters who bounce into my car every week, all talking at once and each making sure her sisters all have buckled themselves properly. As much as I love my girls at work, being with eager, happy kids is invigorating.
I love the honest questions and answers. During prayer time, Megan requested prayer for her cat. He has finally succumbed to cancer. Not sure how to pray for a dead cat, I asked God to help Megan not to feel too sad when she misses her cat. "But you didn't pray for my cat!" Megan persisted. I really didn't know how to pray for dead cats, but instead of admitting it, I asked her if she wanted to talk to God about her cat. Promptly, she did. "God, I hope Fluffy is doing OK. Are you taking care of him? Tell him I miss him. But tell him I do NOT miss him peeing on the couch." Megan knows how to pray for dead cats. Now I do, too.
Last week, a table-full of girls sat relatively quietly during the story about Jesus calling the twelve disciples. I have been aware of my coming at lessons like a steam-roller, driving the moral (weee-weee-weee-weeee) all the way home. Reading the story and asking Jesus to teach me how to teach, I realized He wasn't marching up to people and saying "Follow me (because-you're-doing-it-wrong-and-you-really-need-to-pay-close-attention-so-you-know-how-to-walk-correctly)". When Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, He said, "I saw you before you came, while you were still under the fig tree." He didn't take him to task for dissing Jesus' hometown and doubting Jesus' validity because He came from Nazareth. He let Nathanael know he was seen, wanted, before he saw Jesus. He proclaimed Nathanael a true and honest man and told him he'd see better things than foresight if he followed. Things seem more in focus for me. Instead of stressing over making sure they understand good bevaviors, my job is to present Jesus and tell them how He's teaching me to follow Him.
For an activity, we traced our feet (because we're trying to be followers, duh) onto pieces of paper and colored them. I thought perhaps these 9+ girls would declare this silly and juvenile, but they kicked off their shoes with abandon and traced each others' feet. The part that made me get emotional was this: a girl who was in my class three years ago when I helped with club while at FB has made tremendous, tremendous progress. It used to be impossible to get her to enter into activities. She'd sit, seething, when she wasn't running out of the building or inflicting injury to the person naive enough to get too close. When given craft materials, she'd grab the darkest colors possible and vehemently scribble her paper beyond recognition. Now? She's asking me to have her help me during class. She was the first one to grab her foot-tracing buddy and tear off both her shoes and socks. Her finished picture looks like a piece of modern art... intricate design and... bright, happy colors.
Dear girls. How fortunate am I to spend a few hours with them every week? Very fortunate, that's what. Even when they tell impossible stories such as mistakenly carving their pet instead of a pumpkin.