Sitting in Sharing Time at church last Sunday with five 8 year olds sounds easy enough, right? It wasn't. The girls sat there like angels, but 2 of the 3 boys were another story. One talking constantly, about everything and anything…often standing up to do so. The other boy practiced swallowing paper. I was hoping for better once we got into our classroom for lesson time. Since it was the very last Sunday of the year, the lessons in the manual had all been completed, so I got to make up my own. I decided since we just had Christmas and learned so much about our Savior, that I would focus on teaching them to be more Christ like. Or so I thought. My left eye felt dry and painful since I had woken up that morning. This is a common malady around here with our dry cold winter days (and having older eyes!). I tried to ignore it but by the time we were all walking to our classroom (after Sharing Time) I know I needed to do something to get rid of the distracting pain. I didn't want to go into the bathroom and leave the kids alone, so I told them to just hold on for a minute, "I need to put some eye drops in because my eye is hurting." But first I thought we should at least have the opening prayer. The boy who offered to do that, included in his prayer, “Please bless Sister Shelley that her eye will feel better and it will be like a normal person's eye.” So then I took my glasses off and placed them on my lap. I got the eye drop bottle out of my purse and told the children this would just take a minute. (As one of the girls saw the bottle of eye drops
her jaw dropped and she looked in shock….like I was going to do eye surgery.) I leaned my head back, put one eye drop in and then realized I couldn't sit up right away or the drop would fall down my face. So as I was leaning back with my eyes closed I said, “Uh oh. I can't see. I need to just stay back like this for about a minute.”(meaning
I couldn't see from the drops clouding my vision but I didn't explain all that)
As I was in this position suddenly I could feel these little hands on my face and I could feel my glasses come over my ears. “Who is that?” I asked. I heard this little voice right in front of my face say his name to me. He thought when I said I couldn't see that he would put my glasses back on for me. It was the sweetest thing!! I kept thinking about him and his simple kindness all week. He became much more to me than the boy who was trying to swallow paper in Sharing Time.
The children were all so protective over me. And excitedly were giving their input. One of the little girls said, “Let's turn down the lights for her. The lights are probably making her eyes feel worse," and got up to flip the switch off. The visiting boy even chimed in, "If you need me to do anything for you I will."
Then another girl said, “What Sister Shelley really needs is some peace and quiet.” One sweet quieter boy sat there looking very concerned for me. That tender empathy look. So guess who taught who about being Christ like? They were perfect examples to me and I told them so. We spent the rest of the class time talking about how Christ lived His life to show us the way. And how already, at just 8 years old, they are followers of Him. They have been on my mind and in my heart, ever since. I keep thinking about those little hands on my face...
"Charity is accepting someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped...The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people..." -Marvin J. Ashton