Onions and Old Coffee
Last night at Pioneer Clubs, Mrs. P demonstrated to our four- and five-year-old boys that you can be aware of the presence of something even if you can't see it. One of the ways she did this was to blindfold them and have them smell certain odiferous items and guess what they were. One enthusiastic young lad asserted that he had "a nose like a bloodhound." He revised his comment later when he was unable to guess any of items while one of his friends guessed very well. Another little boy, clearly impressed by the simile regardless of its truth, kept saying at random, "He has a nose like a bloodhound!"
This was my first experience helping at Pioneer Clubs. There was a time when kids were the people I knew best. They were the ones I wanted to tell about Jesus. I worked at a daycamp for five summers during high school and college. I taught Sunday school in London. I tried to start a kid's club. I hung out with the children of my refugee friends. I had this lifelong idea that it would be great to work in an orphanage in Morocco or somewhere.
Then I moved back to the States and I was tired, and I said, "I'm done. No more of this taking care of other people's kids." There wasn't a really good reason for this. It was just how I felt at the time.
In our church, we have a children's sermon during the earlier of the two Sunday morning services. The children stampede to the front of the church so they can hear and see what's going on better. After they've left their seats, the church looks about half as full as it was to begin with. That's how many children attend our church. Recently it's been dawning on me that I don't really know any of these kids. And that I am the one being impoverished by this state of affairs. So even though I can't make it every week, I have decided to help out with Pioneer Clubs. If I even get to know five children, it will be better than my record of late.