As I was trying to explain Joseph's coat of many colors to the littles in the Sunday School class I teach they were having trouble understanding how special this was. So I gathered up some fabric scraps and we laid out a crazy quilt type of table cloth for the table in our classroom. We had fun arranging all the little squares and rectangles of various kinds of material and various patterns to make something beautiful. This week I'll sew it together for them and take it back to church for the kids to autograph a square each. As we were laying out the materials, we talked about which color did they think Papa liked best? And which piece of material did they think Papa would like best. We had one square of material with different colored handprints on it. They all decided Papa would like that material best because it had the handprints of all kinds of kids on it. (Aren't littles wonderful?!?!) Then I explained that they were like those pieces of fabric. Each of them was different, their personalities were different "colors'...some were bright and shiny, some were quiet and subdued, some were vibrant but fragile. But not all of them were the fabric with handprints on it. Then I asked which of them Papa loved best? Dead silence for several minutes....then the yongest little (a 5 yr old boy) said he believed Papa loved him best because he was sturdy and bright at the same time. (as he's pointing to one of the squares of material!) Of course the others all informed him that Papa loved them best! The look on their faces when I told them they were all correct was priceless!!!! You mean Papa loves each of us best?!?!?! How can He do that? The following discussion was delightful as I lead them to see the wonders hidden in each one of them.
After church ended, and we went home, I contemplated that class. It occurred to me that Papa taught me as much as He did the children. What had been a spur of the moment idea turned out to be a blessing for all of us. I thought I'd come up with something to help keep the wormy, squirmy boys involved and also something the little girls would delight in, when all along I was following a still, small voice wanting to minister to me. The kids decided I was like a scrap of brocade....pretty, but kinda scratchy (meaning I insist on manners and minding in the classroom) but really strong and unbreakable. Now for a group of 5-11 yr old kids, that was an incredibly accurate picture of me. (Not too sure about the pretty part, they just like playing games with me!) But I am pretty strong, (at least will wise) and my faith is unbreakable, and sometimes I do get 'scratchy' when the kids are acting like little heathens! And to be honest, it blessed my heart to see that they understood that while I sometimes get 'scratchy' (I loved their definition of it) it was because I loved them and wanted others to see what wonderful kids they are. And as we finished up our project, they were delighted to see themselves in the little tablecloth we'd made. The bright, shiny young lady who really is quite fragile. The littlest boy who is strong, but dark colored due to a homelife that doesn't offer much support to him. My Little Critter who chose a scrap full of color and movement but all in dark colors representing his active body and mind, but also his fight with himself and his desire to 'do it all himself'. They saw each other's strengths more than weaknesses and celebrated each other in words. And I as the teacher was taught by these darling little heart stealers. What a blessed day. I was also confirmed that while my teaching methods are often unorthodox, the kids are learning about Papa and His love for them. And seeing how precious they are in His sight. I hope you can understand how precious YOU are to Papa. I hope you see the love letters Papa sends you dear friends. Even if it comes from little heart stealers....LOL! After all, 'out of the mouth of babes...." Be Blessed and have a great week. Shalom, Joie