Through the Eyes of a Child
One of the delightful roles in my life these days is Pre-K Sunday School Teacher. Every Sunday I have the privilege of teaching a gaggle of full-of-life kiddos between the ages of two and four the mysteries of the Bible. This is not a solo task as I have wonderful help from some godly, patient women (thank you Lynette Rivera and Michele Fairman!!!) It is amazing seeing the Word of God through a child’s eyes because everything is new and exciting. They take every lesson on face value and with such open abandon. Their questions shake the dust from my sometimes, old familiar look at well-known accounts in the Bible.
The other Sunday was just one of those moments. In an effort to teach the children the story of Jesus’ example of servanthood by washing the disciples’ feet, I thought it a good idea to bring a pitcher, bowl and towel and do a simple re-enactment of the scene. It wasn’t my intention to literally wash anyone’s feet, but simply role-play the scene. That all changed when they started kicking off their shoes all excited that I would be washing their feet. So….I went with it.
As I took each child’s bare feet in my hands, placed them over the bowl and poured water on their feet they squealed with glee and fully trusted me to the task at hand . I thought how contrary this response was to other foot washing I had conducted with adults. Adults seem worried about foot odor, a good pedicure, or any abnormalities on their feet. Those thoughts can squelch the spirit of the moment. In my mind I heard the words of Peter as each child excited waited their turn, “‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘No’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’ ‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” John 13:6-9. These preschoolers needed no convincing and they participated with total abandon. As I told them how special they were to God and this was a symbol of what kind of a servant He was willing to be, they relished the moment….just drinking in the fact that they were loved.
We then talked about how they could serve others; since washing people’s feet wasn’t something we naturally do today. They discussed clearing the dinner table to help mom and dad, cleaning up their toys or being happy to be a helper to their teacher.
Thank you, Lord, for this reminder. Help me to have the faith of a child.
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development Department, USA East