Monday, April 1, 2013

A Box of Warm Puppies

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

About five houses and three states ago, I was helping out with an after-school bible school program through our church.  Originally, I had intended to assist in one of the classes, while my daughter attended her class - separately - I wanted her to experience independence away from me.  Apparently, the children's church organizer had other ideas - she saw me as leader material, and gave me a group of first- and second-grade girls.  Oh my!

Having those girls come into their 'classroom' was kind of like having a box of puppies upended.  They had just come from being in school all day and they were ready to explore - under the table, on the table, into the corners, behind the name the place - those girls were there.  Snack time was a new experience.  I was used to 10 and 11 year olds - these were barely 7.  They needed help with everything.  And they wanted to sit next to me.  And they wanted to hold my hand all the time.  And the drama!  One minute fine, the next, crying under the table.  Then there was the absolute trust, and the honesty - I loved my puppies!

The theme song for this after-school program was Thy Word, by Amy Grant.  It's taken from Psalm 119, which just so happened to be my scripture reading this morning.  It's funny how music can take me back; just reading the words brought to mind the music and with the music - the memories.

So, the first order of business on those special afternoons was to get those girls their snacks.  Then we'd start the lesson.  I was using the material supplied - trying to follow a curriculum.  (Trying is the operative word, here...)  Anyway, I used to kind of giggle inside when I'd ask the leading questions.  Every week those puppy hands would wave - call on me, call on me!  Every week those puppy mouths would excitedly shout out "Jesus!", "God!", "God!", "Jesus!"  Now, usually the answer was not Jesus, or God - but those girls knew where they were.  They knew that eventually, the lesson was going to come down to Jesus or God....

Thinking back this morning, the day after Easter, the day after the resurrection of Jesus - I think about those little girls - that box of warm, wiggly, trusting puppies - and I think oh-my-goodness they were right!  It doesn't matter where we are - in an after-school program at church, in our home office the day after Easter, at our jobs, with our families, out in the world:  Jesus IS the answer!  Sometimes it just takes me awhile....

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life..."
John 14:6

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