come unto me
February 17, 2012
Let the children come. How fitting, considering my recent readings and inspirations, was the lesson I had for today’s Funday School. Come unto me, He said. To the least of these. For the activity portion of the lesson, I had the children cover sheets of red and green butcher paper with drawings or words illustrating how they are told to “stop” and how J demonstrated “go” . . . or, rather, “come,” to Him. This led to some interesting depictions of sibling interactions and parental intrusions, as one might imagine. Then we all came to J together, with our prayer requests. One little one raised his hand. “I came from Canada. And I miss my home,” he deliberately articulated. After a few more children had spoken, he raised his hand again, “I have a dog in Canada. Her name is Roxie. And she died. We had to kill her, because she was hurting . . . I miss my dog.”
For a bit, I could say reply with nothing more eloquent than “Oh!” Eventually I recovered my proper teacher mode enough to give a more appropriate consolation. It did remind me, however, that work with little ones is a constant exercise in improvisation. That and the fact that I actually mis-prepared one activity, thinking the children had already done one story that they had not. A bit of re-staging the scene, and of reminding myself that children were pretty forgiving, and all was soon well again. But when it came down to it, I think I probably learned more from the lesson than I taught.
Let the children come. Let the weary gown-ups come. Come and find rest.