It's not because I'm a natural. Or because I have an endless amount of patience for other people's kids. Or I like noisy, chaotic enclosed spaces.
And if I'm honest, there days when I dread helping in the children's ministry at our church.
But then I meet a beautiful brown-skinned little girl who is staying with foster parents at our church. She looks amazed when I introduce her to my own brown-skinned beauty, and seems relieved as she says "your daughter is darker than me"!
Then a 3rd grade boy who had been poking his neighbor shows me 30 seconds of seriousness when he asks us to pray for his mom. She left their family and likes to go out to the bars, and he's concerned for her safety.
Or, this week, when an 8 year old girl walked in timidly with her dad. She put her hand in mine, and we walked around the KidZone, looking for her friends or something fun to do. She told me that her mom's favorite Disney character is Tinkerbell. And we drew flowers on the whiteboard the way her mom draws them.
And though I already knew, she never told me that something terrible happened that week. That her mom had been in the hospital. Or that she would be going to the visitation for her mom's funeral the next day.
So when I begin to feel grumpy about serving in a ministry where kids don't listen, or poke their neighbor, or like to constantly be in motion, I remember that every child has a story.
Every child has hurts and worries and history.....and we get the amazing privilege to be Jesus to them.
I'm not a natural. I don't have endless amounts of patience. I don't like noisy, chaotic enclosed spaces.
But I love children's ministry.