Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Loaves and Fishes at Vacation Bible School

It was the first night of Vacation Bible School and at times I wondered...why did I sign up for this?

Vacation Bible School! Come one, come all! A time when the church invites the community in, going door to door with flyers.

And, yes, the community came, in the form of a foster mother, bone tired. She dropped off two little preschool boys, both of them probably drug babies.

The little one ran from the group during sidewalk chalk. Fearing he would run into the street, I gave chase, finally grabbing a corner of his shirt before he reached the parking lot. He fought me on the way back and I wondered why preschool teachers aren't paid $100,000 a year.

College professors? Is their job so hard, compared to the everyday preschool teacher? We get it so wrong, don't we, when it comes to caring for our nation's children--when the preschool teacher resorts to food stamps and the college professor buys tickets to the symphony and orders the steak and lobster?

I looked into the older ones eyes as he tried to wriggle away during closing ceremony. Such a vacancy there, it shocked me.

He kicked, howled, laughed at his own antics and I wondered about his future. Would he be bound in handcuffs and locked away before age 16?

Who does something like that...takes drugs and destroys a babe's mind in the womb, so that containing the child takes experts and institutions? Who destroys the gift of life and then expects someone else to handle the consequences...like foster moms and preschool teachers?

Grieving, I held him the best I could, but I didn't want to come back the next day. We had a group of preschoolers who represented a fallen world's woes: drugs, divorce, custody battles...sin, sin, and more sin.

I showed up there to love and teach, but the children couldn't sit still long enough to receive. If I really believe that nothing is so big love can't eclipse it, where does that leave drug babies?

I felt guilty at closing ceremony, for wishing I didn't have to return the next day. Is that what Jesus did when the humans down under got under his skin? Did he say, "Why did I sign up for this?" Did he tell his Father he didn't want to come back the next day?

If I want to resemble Jesus, I have to invite the woes of the world in. I have to sign up to receive the community, while they are still sinners.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Tonight I teach preschoolers about the loaves and fishes and the 5000, and I feel just like that: I've got way too little to offer. 

Prayer Time: Dear Heavenly Father, we love you. We thank you that you stayed here, Lord. You didn't go Home until your appointed time. You never give up on us and we want to be like you. We want to believe that nothing is so big love can't eclipse it. Take our meager loaves and fishes Lord, take what we have to offer and make it enough. Make amatuer preschool teachers and everyday mothers into enough. Eclipse our brokenness, our imperfections, with your love, with your Cross. Help me speak you, tonight, Lord. Create a miracle today, like you did so long ago, please? 

In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.


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