When I watched you Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but think about what God is preparing you for. It’s like you are in some sort of spiritual boot camp for your future. Your patience and your willingness to help with the children at our church leads me to believe that you are in training for something amazing in your life. Some of these kids are tough little snickerdoodles.
Six years ago, when I started on staff at New Life Church, several of my friends asked me if I felt safe taking you to this church. They expressed concern. Drug addicts, ex-cons, street people, the homeless definitely bring an edge to the suburban parent. The crowd wears their history of drugs, sex and rock and roll on their faces. Taking you three girls at the ages of 9, 7 and 5 to this church was a major decision. I was uncomfortable. I was nervous to leave you alone. The occasional psychotic person who comes in and starts stripping, the crazy lady that starts screaming in the hallway and the knowledge of the crimes committed by some of our people, can make a mother a little bit nervous. You girls have seen some funny stuff haven’t you? I was also concerned that you would not get the biblical, solid teaching you might find in another church. I wanted you girls to have a good church experience.
But today I watched you. Isabel and Grace were preparing the snack for the grade school kids and Julia, you were teaching the lesson. Way beyond your years, you taught children about trust. These are kids that come out of tough situations, some living in foster care, some with parents still using drugs, some fatherless, others from poor families, others with parents in prison. All in all, it’s a tough little crowd, but you are willing to teach them. You are willing to love them, and show them Jesus. Most every week you girls faithfully help with the kids and I am so proud of you.
I saw you, Julia, how you worked with one little boy, you know his name….a little boy who has no father. He is tough, he is broken and often defiant. Many adults get frustrated with him, but watching you with your gentle spirit is truly inspiring. Those kids trust you for you have faithfully shown them an example of Christ in someone not too far from their age.
Julia, as you taught the lesson this morning on trust, and as you had the kids do a game about trust, I thought about the day when I showed up at this church. I thought about all my fears of taking you to a “street church”, I thought about my concerns with the crowd and how I use to worry that you might be influenced negatively. Today I thought about these things and how I had to trust it would be o.k. I can see now that I should never have worried, for I believe you are getting the best, solid Bible training right where you are at. I can’t wait to see what God does in all your lives out of this beautiful “boot camp” experience.
Thanks for inspiring me today!
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