Me: “What color do you want to use?”
Sydney: “Purple. Purple is my favorite color.”
Me: “Purple it is!”
Sydney: “My mom told me she can’t live with Daddy anymore, so she left.”
Me: (pause, shock) “Where did she go?”
Sydney: “Far away. My brother and I agreed that I get the top bunk.”
Me: (pause, heart racing) “I’m really sorry your mom left, Syd. (pause, mind racing) Do you know who will never leave you?”
Me: “Jesus. He promises to always be with you.”
This conversation really happened this past Sunday. I have replayed it over and over in my head. I’ve wondered what Syd is doing all week. Has she heard from her mom? Is she having to move? Is that why she got to choose the top bunk? New bedroom maybe? Will she stop coming to church? She has got to stay in church! What about her dad? Is anyone helping him? What is her mom struggling with that made her want to leave? Is anyone helping her?
I hate not knowing. But one thing I do know, this is a heavy burden for a little heart to carry.
Why write about it on a blog? Because we get busy. We have a lot to get done in an hour on Sunday! A lot of really good things. And while activities are fun and curriculum is important, it’s the heart of each child that should get the best of us. Will we have these kinds of conversations each week? I sure hope not! But slowing down enough to make ourselves available will make the conversations possible.
These kinds of conversations can happen at anytime and are usually unpredictable, but small group time definitely helps me to stop the busyness for a few minutes, listen a little more closely, focus on each child a little bit longer and care a little bit deeper.
Lord, you are a God who cares for the hearts of people and for that I am grateful. Your compassion is unmatched. Not my will, but your will be done. Amen.