Almost Normal

July 15, 2011

The pile on my desk in my home office is very much like the piles I would accumulate at my work offices.  Sometimes ( not too often) it gets distracting.  When that happens, no work gets done in that room, I may have to close the door and find someplace else to work.  Or I do something to make the pile manageable.  (It never disappears.)

I never understood the appeal of having all your ducks in a row.  Too much like a pull toy for toddlers.  I prefer a gaggle of geese milling around.  And that is what my desk normally looks like, a gaggle of paper milling around, looking for something interesting.   But I can always find what I need in these piles of flotsam and jetsam.

Somewhere between my disorganized lifestyle and the OCD of someone else, is normal. Not too messy, not too neat.  Like the third bowl of porridge; just right. But nobody is normal.  Everyone is almost normal.

I had a really cool compass on my desk the pointer of which marked a North which was actually 15 degrees farther West than it actually is.  The metal in the building caused the compass to read a few degrees off-almost normal.

We make a similar mistake when ministering to kids and thinking that any of them is normal.  Actually we make the first mistake when we lump kids together in the first place.  Then we think kids should be normal, i.e. easy to minister to.  Yea, just like adults.

Think about the following situations that make kids more or less normal, and how we normally respond to them.

The kid with one parent.  How does this child feel when we ask them to bring their mom or dad, when they have the one we haven’t asked for?

The kid with three or four parents.   Which parent do they invite, whose house are they at this week, and is any one of the houses they sleep at considered home?

The kid with two parents.  Not even half of our kids any given week.

The kid who get bullied in school.  Never ever feeling secure.

The kid who bullies others.  Never ever feeling secure.

The one to smart for his own good.  Rarely feeling smart enough, never fitting in.

The one who doesn’t try hard enough .

The one we write off because trying hard doesn’t help.

The child who excels at every sport they try.

The child who can’t even catch a break if you dropped it in his lap.

The musical prodigy.

The musical misfit.

The child who doesn’t know what a Bible is.

The child who knows who Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai was.

 The next time you try to plan a lesson for normal kids, keep in mind that there probably won’t be any normal kids there when you present the lesson.  But if you keep in mind the securities as well as the insecurities you held as a child, and perhaps still hold, you will probably reach more kids.  Remembering that everyone brings baggage along for the ride, whether it is your ministry partners or the children in your care, or their parents, one of the best reminders we can give is that we serve a God who loves is just the way we are.

And he loves us so much that he won’t leave us there.


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