Through listening to children's bible lessons with my own kids and the kids I "teach" at the little pre-K class where I work, the children's versions of these stories are really the level that my faith is on most of the time. We have one particular tape (yes, I said tape - my CD player doesn't work in the car) of these cute little stories and songs that my kids love to listen to over, and over, and over, and over (getting the picture??) again. Even though we listen to these little Bible lessons over, and over, and over, and over again, something in them usually speaks to me each time! These stories really spoke directly to me recently when I was going through a dark time, sort of a faith crisis, and I believe they were a huge factor in bringing me back to where I need to be.
Last week the Bible story in the little class that I "teach" had the lesson of the loaves and the fishes. I say teach with "" because I work with a woman who has been teaching for 24 years and she does most of the teaching! She's a wonderful lady. Great with the kids, easy to talk to, and a very good Baptist Christian woman. But...well, she doesn't let me do much...putting snacks out, sweeping up, wiping off tables - you get the drift. I call myself Cinderella! Anyway, I do love listening to her tell the Bible stories. She is VERY knowledgeable about the Bible and apparently has never missed or forgotten a Sunday school lesson. So she was telling the story of the loaves and fishes and I was working on some little art project or something. She started telling about how Jesus was exhausted and he and the disciples got in a boat and tried to go off for some quiet time. But, the people followed them. Did Jesus get upset that they had ruined his chance at solitude? Did he complain that he no one ever gives him time to himself? Did he try to run and hide and leave his disciples to cover for him? Nope - he saw them, and had compassion on them and spent the day healing the sick and preaching to them.
I thought of the times that my kids have called out to me when I was tired, trying to do something else, or just feeling lazy and I have responded to them with frustration or exasperation. As soon as I heard her say the words, and Jesus had compassion on them, my kids little faces flashed in my mind's eye. I saw those looks that say, "What did I do wrong? I just needed help" or "I just wanted to show you what I did". And then you feel like such a toad. How many times have I complained that I never get alone time. Or that I'm tired and have had a busy day - why can't I just relax?
It really convicted me to have compassion for my children, to have compassion for my husband who has also had a long day. To remember that this life is not all about me. Especially this mommy life - it's really not about me at all!! In 25 years or so, I know I'll long for little voices calling my name. I pray that the Lord will give me more compassion, His compassion.