I’m going to begin this post by venting a little. Usually I vent first, find the humor, then go to the keyboard. But I haven’t found the humor yet.
Since I homeschool my kids, and lead an Awana group at church during the week, I don’t spend nearly enough time with children.
So I recently started volunteering my time to teach Sunday School every other week.
If you don’t know me well, I’m being facetious. Because of my high-strung nature, I may very well be spending far too much time in a position of teaching. Enter the Extra-strength Excedrin.
A hot button issue with me and childcare at church, is the area of security. One of the reasons that we joined our church is because we love that they have a heart for the children, have a children’s pastor that has a heart for the children, and they CARE about the children’s well being. And have security measures in place to make sure that parents can feel secure about entrusting their offspring to the ministry workers.
I dearly love my church.
When children are checked in to their classes, they wear a name tag with a corresponding number that matches the one their parents bring with them to pick the children up. Since I just started teaching this particular class, I’m not familiar yet with which parents match up to what children.
On Sunday, I had a dad come to pick up his daughter early. I had run into him a few minutes before when I escorted two of my girls from my class down to the drinking fountain. He exchanged a few words with one of the girls, leading me to assume it was his daughter. He did not say a word to me.
So when he showed up at the classroom early to pick up his child, I asked him if he had her tag number with him. He was clearly put out that I would ask, and said in a rather surly tone, “No, do I need to go find it?” I said to wait just a second, and I was going to ask my co-teacher if she knew that was the girl’s dad and it was okay to release her to him. Before I had a chance to check, he said brusquely, “I’ll just leave her.” The little girl had all her things and clearly wanted to leave with him, so I quickly asked my co-teacher, and she said absolutely yes, that was the girl’s dad and it was okay.
I told the little girl to have a great week and off they went. The father left without saying a word to me.
I was a mad little hornet.
The security measures are in place TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN. How dare him act as though it was an inconvenience for me to ask him for the tag. And btw, I LEFT MY 3 CHILDREN AT HOME WITH THEIR DAD BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL COUGHING, TO COME AND TEACH YOUR CHILD!
And besides, I knew of a church that released a child to a non-custodial parent, the church was sued, and they lost everything. So there.
All this was swirling around in my head. While I attempted to focus on the virtue we were teaching the rest of the children.
How to look around us and recognize the needs of others.
While I was griping about my time at Sunday School with Fiddledaddy, he reminded me of a few things.
The church is kind of like an emergency room. Full of broken people. We absolutely cannot look solely to each other for any kind of spiritual fulfillment or encouragement. That’s only going to come from the One who came to earth without blemish. The One who died for our sins. The One who endured that suffering so that we can enjoy eternal life. Even though we absolutely do not deserve it.
Because we all have crap we’re working on. I know this because I’ve got a whole bunch of luggage that God is dealing with me about. A WHOLE BUNCH.
So instead of judging that man for his actions, I need extend enough grace to look beyond myself and see that he may be in a really difficult place. What if he just lost his job? What if his wife was ill? And a million other what ifs’.
Caring enough to do something about someone elses need.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Today the Sunday School teacher learned a very valuable lesson.