The classroom where I sometimes teach on Sunday mornings is a multi-purpose room. Which means more often than not, even if I set up for the next week's class after church, I'll have to do it again the next Sunday morning before church starts. Since we know how that is and I'm thankful our church actually uses it's facility, I'm okay with that. There's a small group of kids who always come into the classroom on Sunday morning during my prep time who want to help. Sometimes you can tell by the look on their faces that they really don't want to help but are just being polite. Their bodies relax and they break into a smile if I say "No, I think I got it today, but I greatly appreciate you offering." And then there's the tiniest two of that group, who a few years ago were too small to stack/move chairs, but would do their best to do so if the others were. Sometimes if I don't have a job for them, they'll stick and around chat.
Those chats are usually normal kid chats. Things that make me smile, and remind me of how big and important small details are/were when I was young. One of the questions I get asked by almost every 3-5 year old is "What do the big kids do in class?" (We teach 4th-6th graders.) They're always intrigued, and almost always dismayed (some more than others) to find out the big kids almost never have snack time.
But two weeks ago, after the normal chat about pets and classes and holidays and family, this tiny child stopped at the door and whispered something. I had to ask her to repeat it three times. Finally, I went to squat in front of her and ask her to say it one more time, as she was barely whispering.
"Mrs. Monica, what will you do this week to be a good Samaritan?"
And I was totally stumped.
I guess she thought I still didn't understand, for she repeated it again. The only thing that popped into my head was "Well, I guess if my neighbor needed me to look after her dogs, I would." (And from a minimal dog lover, that's a big offer.) It satisfied her, but not me.
That question has haunted me the last two weeks. I thought about it two days later when a person who irritates me greatly called and talked and talked. And as I inwardly prayed, "Lord, please don't let her ask me to.....today" I could hear that soft, high-pitched voice asking her question.
As we were out running errands in the sprinkling rain and passed a young couple on foot, with an infant, I heard her voice again. And we turned around, even though a little pushed for time, and prepared to offer them a ride. (Another vehicle in front of us did the same, and they declined and said they were almost home.)
And Saturday as I was letting the chickens out, a construction worker from next door brought his daughter over to see our chickens. My chicks aren't pets, and they don't like for people to come near them. Her chickens are/were pets, so she totally didn't understand that. I was busy, but I couldn't help but think about how our time is ordained and arranged. Not acting impatient and taking time for people...isn't that what a good Samaritan would do?
My prayer this week is that I won't be the Levite who is too busy for others, but that I will be the good Samaritan who is willing to go out of the way for others. People at church sometimes introduce me and say "She teaches one of the kids' classes" but the reality is, our kids more often than not teach me.