Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I attended a meeting on Sunday for our children’s ministry staff. We went over the new curriculum and made some decisions about how the class schedule would work. I was reflecting on the meeting and felt a sense of hope. Not that I was hopeless before, but there were changes in the air, and change is not always easy. So around this table we all met, and tried and do some planning for our classes.
I would not say it was a perfect meeting, because I am not a perfect person. I was encouraged to see everyone trying to work together. We are human beings, we do not always see eye to eye. Where is the hope I was talking about you ask? Well the hope did not hit me until this morning. You see, this morning I started praying for each of the ladies in that group. I asked God to cover us with His love, and to give each of us His love for one another.
I know this works, because I have done this before, I was just reminded. Many years ago, I started helping in a 3 year old class after a brief hiatus. By this time I had been teaching Sunday School for at least 7 years, and had taught kids programs for MOPS and bible study. So I had the routine down. The problem was that the co-teacher did not know me or my history. That history included the accidental death of my niece Jessica. She was not even a year old when she died. She happened to find a balloon that everyone had lost track of, it was from one of the kids going to a birthday party. It is hard, I cannot even write it. Needless to say, I do not use balloons a lot in my ministry or my home. If I do, I do not let kids take them home, and I make sure they are disposed of properly.
Well, one day in Sunday School we did an activity with balloons. At the end of the hour parents came to pick up kids, I just assumed we would dispose of them like I had always done. My co-teacher felt that letting the kids take them home was not a big deal, and since there were parents standing there I just kind of walked away. I could not just come out and say it, and I did not feel like I needed to explain it. For a while, my fear for the children that had taken the balloons was strong. I finally asked God to protect them and keep them safe. I could not bear the thought that one of the parents might lose track of the balloon, and a younger child in the household find it. After reflecting on the incident, I was finally able to forgive her. I know she didn’t do it to hurt me, but it did. So forgiving her helped me to give up the anger it caused. I told my director as we talked later that week, but didn’t plan on telling my co-teacher. Like I said, she did not intend to hurt me, she didn’t have to ask for my forgiveness, I just had to give it.
After that, we were so blessed in ministry. We worked so well together and our class was fantastic. I know it was due to God’s grace covering both of us. We did eventually talk about what happened. While it was a hard lesson, it was great to see how God can bring two different women together for His Glory. That is why I have hope. If God can do that, He can do great things with the women who were at that meeting. I can’t wait till the day we can look back and see where we have come from, to where God will bring us.
**As I re-read this today…. I see it a little differently now. I see it with older and wiser eyes. In the outcome I see a movement of God, but the reason we got there was just a product of my pride. I could have communicated so much better, but I just expected someone to have understanding without fully knowing me or my motivation. It made me angry…. Oh baby…. that is my pride. Looking back, I am even more thankful than ever that God gave me some time and space to work through my inner dialogue and get to a place where He could work.