Chasing Contentment

Thursday, April 21

Our church's Wednesday evening activities for children include choir and missions organizations for grades one through six. Since January, I've been teaching in the younger girls' missions class. We've got girls ranging in age from six to about 10 in class each week, and we average about eight to 10 girls.

I worked in this same class many years ago when I first moved here and was single, and as I look back now, that was such a good growing time for me. There were three women teaching the class at that time - who were about the age I am now, I suppose - and who taught me - unknowingly, I'm sure - such wonderful things about love and marriage and motherhood in those few minutes each week before the girls arrived. It was our 'planning' time, and plans were certainly made, but it was also time for those women to interact and to talk about their lives. They showed me the most wonderful, funny, true things about loving and being married, and I am grateful for their lessons.

Because that was such a wonderful experience, I was spoiled. I'm frustrated and sometimes disappointed because I don't connect with the other teacher the way I connected with those women. I respect the teacher more than I can say, and I appreciate who she is and the energy she pours into this class. But we don't quite click, and I feel that disappointment in my heart.

Thankfully, we do mesh well together in the class with the girls. This dear woman has no biological children of her own, but she is endlessly gentle and tender with these girls. She's the one the girls like. I'm the enforcer. I walk about telling people to sit down and listen. I bop heads. In the end, though, I end up frustrated each week with the girls. By that time of night, I know kids this age are restless and tired. Griff always is. So I can understand and accept that. But I get frustrated with some of their actions, their unwillingness to attempt to be polite and act properly.

And then, of course, I feel horrid for feeling that way. The majority of our girls on Wednesday evening don't attend Sunday morning church, and I'm not sure they attend church at all other than those few hours in the middle of the week. The little girls who are in church all the time are better behaved...but the ones who aren't are in such need. The talk all the time and struggle to get the attention for themselves, clearly wanting the personal touch that they might not get at home. And that breaks my heart.

Which is why, despite my deep need for painkillers after each week's session, I keep going back and have even agreed to teach this class again next year. I think that if we can give just a little love to these little girls, maybe they can see God's love more clearly.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, April 21, 2005  ]


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