“Kristin, you’re crying.”
“I can’t do it anymore, Pat. Maybe this should be my last week to teach.”
“I know it’s hard. You have one of the toughest classes, what with Jordan and his Autism. That alone would make me pull out my hair. Pray about it, okay?”
“Yeah, I will. Listen, the kids will be coming soon. I’ll talk to you later.”
Kristin sat at the table in a second-grade size chair with her head in her hands.
“Lord, I’m frustrated. I don’t know what to do. Help me get through to these kids. Give me strength for just one more Sunday.” Children’s voices drifted in from the hallway and interrupted Kristin’s desperate prayer. She quickly finished up, “Lord, help me! Amen.”
“G’morning, Miss Kristin.”
Kristin gave Billy a high-five like she did each Sunday with the boys.
“Hi, Miss Kristin.”
“Mith Krithtin?” A little girl with horn-rimmed glasses and a lisp tugged at Kristin’s dress. Kristin gave her a hug, like she did each Sunday with the girls.
“Jordan hit me in Childrenth Church.”
Jordan’s mother walked him to the door. Hearing the conversation, she quickly turned away. Kristin knew she was embarrassed by her son’s behavior but at a loss as to what to do.
“Good morning, Jordan.” The young boy shrugged away, not liking to be touched.
“Jordan, did you hit Rylie this morning?”
“Tell her you’re sorry.”
“Sorry,” Jordan said in a booming, monotone bass voice as he looked down at his double-knotted tennis shoes.
“Sit down, please.” There was a mad scramble for their favorite seats. “Jordan, you sit beside me. Billy, please leave Faith alone. Faith, you can’t poke Billy just because he’s looking at you funny. Let’s pray together. Bow your heads and close your eyes.”
Kristin kept her eyes open as she prayed, “Jesus, thank You for all the kids that came to Sunday School. Thank You for Jordan, Billy, Tyler, Rylie and Faith. Please help us listen to the lesson and learn something about You.” Unable to sit quietly for one more second, the classroom erupted with noise at Kristin’s, “Amen.”
“Today we’re going to learn how much Jesus loves us. Let’s look up John 3:16 together. First find John. It’s in the New Testament. Remember the first four books? Let’s say them together. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.”
The class echoed back the books as they searched for the right page.
“I found it, Miss Kristin.”
“Good job, Tyler.”
Now we have to find the right chapter, look for the big number 3.” Kristin walked around helping each child. “Find the little number 16.” After a good five minutes, everyone had the right place marked in their Bibles except Jordan, who sat with crayons and paper.
“Billy, will you please read this verse?”
“For God so loved the w-w-orld that He gave His One and only Son, that w’ever b’lieves in Him shall not perash…” Kristin helped him sound out the rest of the verse.
“You did a great job reading, Billy! Thank you.”
“Mith Krithin, Jordan wrote on my Bible!”
Kristin took away Jordan’s crayons and tried to engage him in the lesson. “Jordan, God loved us so very much that He sent Jesus to die for us.”
Tyler raised his hand.
“Tyler, do you have something to share?”
“Yep, my uncle died in Iraq.”
“I know, Buddy. I miss him, too.”
Faith began to cry. Billy stepped on Jordan’s toes. Jordan pulled Billy’s hair. The little bit of atmosphere conducive to learning disappeared and all that was left was a frazzled, beat-up teacher. At the buzzer, Kristin passed out papers as she said goodbye to each child.
While cleaning up the room, Kristin heard sniffling. Jordan’s mom stood in the doorway in tears. She reached out for Kristin and hugged her close.
“Thank you for having Jordan in your class. Do you know how many others refuse to teach him? When I picked him up today he looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Jesus loves you.’ That’s the first sentence he’s spoken in months.”
After she left, Pat peeked around the corner. “Well?”
Kristin smiled at her and picked up her lesson book for next week. “I guess I can teach just one more Sunday.”
The two walked out together as Kristin shared her experiences of the morning with laughter and a few tears. She was excited to be used by God as part of the Sunday School ministry team.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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