I have been involved in Children’s Ministry since I was a sophomore in college. When I first started attending church at RLM, I worked with the four and five year olds. What a time we had!! It was mostly little, energetic boys. How I have loved watching them grow! Now, I am in charge of the Sunday morning children’s classes and Vacation Bible School. It doesn’t end there: I also work with some amazing little women on Wednesday nights and my hot mess girls once a month.
Basically, I am surrounded the majority of the time by little people (and in-between people…my hot mess girls would not like being called little!). Being a part of their lives and watching them has taught me so much about myself and about truth. Yes, it has even taught me some truths about my body.
You see, I have always been a little insecure about the way I look. I have always felt awkward and uncomfortable in my skin. I have always felt like my size and my looks made me a little less valuable in this world I live in. But, you want to know the great thing about kids–they care more about how things ARE as opposed to how they simply LOOK.
Working with children has fundamentally changed my system of value when it comes to appearance. These kids don’t care. They don’t care if my arms are a little flabby or my clothes are not runway ready. They don’t care that I’m tall or that I have crooked teeth. They don’t care how much I weigh or if I am wearing make up.
They do care that I use my flabby arms to carry them.
They do notice when my crooked teeth break out in a smile at their existence and their accomplishments.
They do see my fluffy, comfy stomach as something to lean on when they are tired or sad or hurt.
They don’t simply want me to be PRETTY. They want me to be PRESENT.
And shouldn’t we, as adults, still want that for each other???
The truth is, when we learn to value aesthetics over actuality and sex appeal over sincerity, we are setting ourselves up for struggle. We come to curse the very system of value that we have built for ourselves.
I don’t want to simply be pretty. I want to be present. I want to play and laugh and explore and learn and grow, and I can’t do that if I am worried about how I look in a bathing suit.
Because the kids that want to jump off my shoulders into the pool certainly don’t care how I look in one…