So…why I thought I’d be able to head out into the rekindled warmth of summer’s approach up here in Portland, and not be completely deterred from my agenda of afternoon homework in anybody’s guess. I’m a sucker for good weather…and for me, especially being up here in the Pac. Northwest, good weather is defined as almost anything not consisting of gray sky.
So, toss a little sunshine in the sky with white billowy clouds floating free and alone; throw some worship around my neck as I walk draped in guitar, and…and this really is what does me in forever and again…sprinkle some runny-noses and smiles running at me with awkward wonky 3 year old legs…(sigh)…and watch me melt.
The house just across the street from my Seminary apartments is often teeming with kids…literally escaping out the doors. The Mom there, along with the Dad, run a day-care of sorts for the better half of the neighborhood, providing much needed care for Seminary parents who otherwise would have to have their kids play tag along to work…no fun for anyone.
Today it was Jade, Josie and Eva, although there were others, who bid for my attention. I might as well have walked up with a circus act in my hands because these kids just flocked to the music coming from my guitar. I have to admit, I felt like the pied piper a bit…and then as if confirmation came down straight down from heaven itself, my friend Ben turned the corner a good ten minutes into my children’s sermon/worship session and said…”Hey, there’s the Pied Piper.”
How amazing it would be to just teach, learn from and Love on God’s kids forver! I realize, much the way missions tugs at my heart, children are a different kind of perfect in my eyes. The Lord made me with that ingredient and I have often called upon it for needed strength, rest and affection where there seems none to be had.
And yet, as I sat there and again explained to on-looking parents why I am not necessarily involved in children’s ministry more than I am…I again felt that silly sort of feeling…almost like I was trying to explain a lie to Mom and Dad that I knew they weren’t buying. I told them that the reason I was being hesitant around the combo of kids and ministry was because a few people who I really respect and expect to speak into my life about my next season(s) of my life with God have always said something to the affect that ‘kids might be the easy way out for you Justin.’
I don’t know why immediately my passion for little ones would necessarily conjure up hesitations in others…except to say that they are right to question whether or not I should be doing that, and not solely focusing on whether or not I could, which has never been an issue.
Alas, I still heed their advice to hesitantly approach kids…I approach with confidence but also see them as“something sacred, forbidding even a careless touch.”
And so…I thank God for His little ones today…there’s nothing easy about them, and they are often drastically and dangerously underestimated as far as having anything to teach us. They have often been some of my very best teachers…and while I consider my professors and the training invaluable here at Seminary, I find it funny that I needed only to venture across the street to play and to listen to get another kind of knowledge…a different gleaning of God…haha, one that didn’t cost thousands of dollars.
Here’s to some of the greatest pastors I know…most of whom are shorter than 4 feet tall.