It’s a hard life when your week involves playing kick ball, looking at picture dictionaries, eating chocolate chip cake, and chaperoning a few rounds of musical chairs. Oh–and viewing fine artwork like this:
(My favorite is the flying piglet)
I think it’s pretty good stuff, considering it’s the creation of 1st grader. I had the privilege of tutoring him on Tuesday. We read a story about a dog named Biscuit that visited a farm, and some of the words shown above are vocabulary from the book. It’s been awhile since I’ve tutored such a young reader, and I literally had a blast hearing the excitement in his voice as he conquered new words by slowly sounding them out.
Yesterday evening, Kids Klub kicked off with some energetic singing:
Then, it was off to classes to learn about David & Goliath! In the 3rd grade class, students had the opportunity to write down some of their “Goliaths” (i.e. big problems) and compose a prayer to God about them. From parents fighting and yelling, to scary bullies at school, they poured out their little hearts to Him.
In a few years of interacting with many children from dysfunctional homes, I have observed that sometimes they don’t seem to realize how unhealthy their families really are, while at other times, they feel it most keenly. As a case in point, yesterday I had a brief conversation with a young boy while I was picking up children for Kids Klub. When a child blurts out, “My dad wants to kill my mom,” it’s a bit of an attention-getter. As I tried to probe deeper, I only grew more confused. It sounds like the dad is already in jail, and the child lives with his grandmother, mother (step-mother?), and sister (half-sister? step-sister?). He was randomly answering my questions while fiddling with his seatbelt, looking out the window, and relishing his time in the coveted front seat.
His family is clearly dysfunctional, yet nothing in his body language or tone of voice showed any distress over it. His situation reminds me of that of a little girl who used to attend Kids Klub. Over the course of a few years, I spent enough time with her to know that her dad was in jail and that her mom shoplifted and partied. Those details were often relayed to me matter-of-factly. During a prayer time at Sunday School where a lot of “churched” kids were present, this girl requested prayer for her mom’s drinking habit. Later, she told me she wished she wouldn’t have said her request aloud, because “I know that other kids don’t have parents that do that.”
She had come to the realization that there was something so not normal about her home life, and it saddened and embarrassed her. At that moment, she felt the difference most keenly.
Jesus, You love these little children.
They are precious in Your sight.
You are bigger than their Goliaths.
Fight for them, dear Jesus!