This week is the last children’s day-camp of the summer and we are talking about the fruit of the Spirit. Each day we talk about one or two, and today was kindness and goodness. I decided to use you in my devotion, so after my 4th and 5th grade class talked about what kindness and goodness was and a few examples, I went downstairs to get you.
I first came up with this idea last camp when my 2nd grade class met you. It was the day Honey stole you away for a bit, and when she dropped you off the rest of your class was walking around in the “bye-bye buggy”. So I said I would just hold on to you until they came back. I brought you out onto the playground where my kids were playing and within a couple of minutes, every single kid was crowded around you. At first it was just being a baby that attracted them. But soon it was because they realized you are a very special baby. A couple brave kids asked me some questions about you, and I always answer very receptively and honestly. When they saw that my feelings wouldn’t be hurt, a flood of questions came. We talked about why you can’t sit, walk, or talk, what the tube in your stomach is, why you don’t open your eyes, why you don’t close your mouth, why there is a hole in your mouth, why your teeth are so pointy, what cholesterol is and why Cheerios wouldn’t help you. But most of all we talked about how tough you are, how sweet you are, and how you love to laugh. The kids took turns using the Velcro on their shoes, zippers on their hoodies, and coming up with all new sounds you might think are funny. Before long our break time was over and we needed to go inside to practice the musical. Everyone said bye to you, and many of them walked away talking about how cute you are. As I dropped you off at the nursery, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a great experience that was for them.
I think a lot of times our “PC” culture prevents children from asking questions about people that are different. Some parents are quick to tell children not to stare or ask questions and basically teach kids to ignore those different people. But I feel like knowledge is the key to appreciating and understanding. I would never be offended by an honest question about you. You are absolutely beautiful, inside and out, but I know you don’t look or act the same as everyone else. It’s not like if someone were to ask me “why”, my eyes would suddenly be opened to your differences for the first time.
So today I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce you to this class, especially since we have already had issues with respect and manners and kindness this week. Sure enough, the second I stepped into the classroom, one of my students said something inappropriate about you. My response was, “That is exactly what we are going to talk about today.” And I began to tell them your story.