When you spend as much time as I have around elementary schoolers, you come away with some pretty memorable stories. From kids saying funny things to unexpected life change, each week surprises me with the memories made. One of my favorite stories happened a couple of years ago.
Chad, a high-school-aged small group leader was telling his kindergarten small group a story about trusting God. He shared with them about how he had cancer when he was their age. He told them about his long stretches in the hospital, his numerous surgeries, and how he had to miss school for two years! He explained how the doctors had told his parents there was a high possibility he may not survive the cancer. Then Chad emphasized how he and his parents prayed and trusted God.
When the cancer had gone away, Chad recalled how he asked his doctor why he had lived. His doctor explained that there were more healthy cells in his body than cancer cells. This is when Chad explained to the small group that he knew God had given him strong healthy cells to take over the unhealthy cells.
During this talk, all of the children were listening with wide eyes and very interested in what they heard. Later, when a father came to pick up his daughter, Megan, I was standing in the hallway and could hear her excitedly relay, “Dad, did you know Mr. Chad had cancer? But he trusted God and missed two years of school!”
Megan’s interpretation of the story still makes me laugh out loud and I think God does, too. But on a deeper level, it gives me great delight thinking Chad gave the most precious gift a small group leader could give—his relational investment in Megan and in turn, her parents. That one conversation in small group sparked an opportunity for Megan and her parents to continue a discussion about trusting God throughout the rest of that day and gave them a reference point for future significant conversations.