what i learned today

tuesday, july 18th, 2017

i learned something new today from one of my eight year olds. in my conscious mind, i never would have thought i would learn something worth blogging about from a child going into the fourth grade, but God likes to pull these surprises on us and show us His heart in each situation.

so here’s the situation: i have a boy who is usually quiet, usually keeps to himself, sometimes looks like he’s in his own world, easily angered/frustrated, and loves Pokemon. We are lining up to transition rooms during controlled free time, during which the children were playing fooseball (fooseball n. – a game of table soccer in which only four may play at a time and from which many arguments, fights, and tears arise due to ample amounts of pushing and shoving to be able to contend for the ultimate bragging rights of crushing the opposing team), and Kyle* – the aforementioned boy – comes bounding through the line, pushing anyone who dares to stop him out of his way until he catches me off guard, runs into me, and spills my sweet tea. as ministering to sixty+ elementary school children tends to wear ones patience thin, i was quite frustrated with this minor occurrence. Kyle* was asked to step out of line to the side until i had a moment to privately speak with him

although i don’t rejoice in the circumstances which lead up to these private conversations rebuking their actions and trying to dig down the root of the behavior, i rejoice in the intimacy and relationship which builds between the child and God, and the child and me following these challenging conversations. so, i ask Kyle* to calmly use his words and explain to me how is feeling or what has him so distraught. he ensues to share  that earlier in the day, his Pokemon cards were confiscated by a leader (mind you the students are not allowed to bring their own toys and he has over 50 Poke cards…), and after, a strange feeling came to him. so i ask kyair what he thinks this strange feeling was? His answer was that he felt weak. while my mind is racing through all the medical possibilities that could fit the description of feeling “weak” – like dehydration or heat exhaustion or light-headiness – Kyle* explains to me that his poke cards are what make him strong, and without them, he believes he becomes weak.

i am baffled. i am lost for words. i want to giggle at the ridiculousness yet i am in love with the childlike innocence of placing full faith in the “luck” of Pokemon cards, longing for fulfillment from them.

but does this not closely mirror us in our only slightly more grown up adultish lives? are we not searching for fulfillment and strength from sources other than Jesus? does the loss of our personal “Pokemon cards” leave us weak, empty, distraught, and a danger to others, ourselves, and precious red solo cups full of sweet tea?

i know for myself it does. i know that when i search for fulfillment and strength in any source other than Jesus, i am left broken, frail, damaged, and a living testimony to the pithy phrase, “Hurt people hurt people.”

so what exactly do i tell the eight year old who believes in Pokemon cards which legitimately give him his strength, determine whether he will win or lose in a game of fooseball, and magically make people want to hang out with him and be his friend?

trying to think fast on my feet, i related Jesus to the ultimate Pokemon card (Dear Jesus, i am so sorry if this analogy hurts your feelings). but let’s break this down and think about it.

Jesus has endless HP’s (health points): because He’s God. He can just resurrect. nbd. Jesus has unlimited “Pokemon powers”: examples can be found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in which they are known as miracles. You only need one card for battle because Jesus ALWAYS wins. He has no weaknesses. He does not retreat from protecting you in battle. He is the “ultimate Pokemon.

this analogy may be a stretch for the mind of an intellectual or theologist. i will concede that, but for an eight year old, who has only heard of God referred to in reference of “Oh my’s” and preceding the noun which names a structure used to hold back large quantities of water in order to create reservoirs, i hope the concept of Jesus being All-Sufficient becomes more understandable and applicable in his life.

so, in conclusion, i learned that Jesus is “The Ultimate Pokemon.” thank you Kyle*.

please, join me in praying for peace over little Kyle* and that he would seek to know more about the character of God and His Son, Jesus, as the Savior of his life and fulfillment of his emptiness and the provider of his strength. please, pray for Kyle* to gain confidence in the awesomeness of Jesus to go out and make new friends without his Pokemon cards, embracing the person who God has made him to be.

xoxo. lauren grace

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