Amy walked into the small classroom early Sunday morning to make sure the diapers and snacks were properly stocked. The walls were hand painted with bright red and yellow flowers and a colorful array of animals from little bees to giant elephants, perfect for two year olds.
She thought when they asked her to teach Sunday school that it would only be for a little while, until they could find a real teacher. That was 4 years ago. She didn’t know why the Lord called her to teach the little ones but she was happy with the job. She rearranged the little chairs just for something to do. Everything looked in order.
“Miss Amy, are you in here?”
“Yes,” Amy replied curiously.
Standing in the doorway was Sarah, one of her helpers. Sarah was a beautiful teenager with one of the most amazing singing voices that Amy had ever heard. She would let Sarah lead the children in worship just for her own selfish reasons; she liked to hear her sing.
“There’s someone here,” Sarah said. “Do you want me to check him in?”
“No. I’ll do it,” Amy replied, already moving toward the door.
Teenagers were not allowed to check in the children. Sarah knew that, but she had such a servant’s heart, always so willing to help. Amy smiled at her as she passed by. She always wanted Sarah to know that she appreciated her. She wished she had several helpers just like her.
“Good Morning Mr. Dallas,” Amy said to the small black headed boy being held firmly by his mother.
Dallas put his head on his mothers shoulder as if he knew what was coming next. He always cried when his mother dropped him off. Amy hated the way that she felt about him. She loved all the other babies but this boy was so hard to take care of. She knew that he had a rough home life so she tried to be extra tolerant of him but that was it, she only tolerated him.
Amy smiled at his mother as she held out her hands to take the boy. When he came right to her she thought something must be wrong with him. She felt a sense of guilt and shame wash over her. It certainly wasn’t his fault that he came in dirty and stinky or that he was disruptive in class. He needed to be loved despite all that or possibly because of all that.
She placed Dallas on the changing table; he usually came in with a wet diaper so that was the first order of business. Looking down at the baby, she prayed, “God help me to love him, like you love him.” She wanted to cry. She felt a gentle tug at her heart as she picked him up and held him close to her. Suddenly she knew what was wrong with him. He had a fever.
Amy knew the rules better than most. Any child that is running a temperature has to leave the classroom. It’s a good rule, Amy thought, the other children shouldn’t be exposed. But she couldn’t escape the tug at her heart.
“What is it Lord?” she whispered.
It was as if the Lord spoke to her heart immediately. She knew that Dallas was to stay in the classroom with her. But breaking such a significant rule was almost out of the question. To Amy, rules were there for a reason and it was important that they be followed. But as she held his motionless body, she knew she had heard the Lord.
“Sarah, would you like to check in the children for me? I think Dallas needs a little extra attention this morning.”
Amy knew she would jump at the chance.
“Yeah… is he okay?”
“Oh, he’s going to be fine.”
Amy held Dallas close and rocked him softly. She looked down at him. The feeling of guilt and shame rolled over her once again. Instead of giving him the extra attention that he desperately needed; she had continued to be indifferent toward him.
“Lord, forgive me. You are not willing to loose even one of these little ones. I ask for your mercy for him and for me.”
Dallas opened his eyes and put his tiny little hand on her cheek as if to say “I forgive you”. Tears streamed uncontrollably down her face as she began to understand that the Lord was healing much more than a fever that day.
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