As a teacher, I have loved seeing how our youth have been caring leaders for the campers. They have experienced a lot of moments that I have during my teaching career, the good, the bad, and the ugly. This morning Tori and Mallory described an incident they witnessed between one of the campers and an adult. After hearing about it, I am not sure how I would have reacted in the situation either. They were both looking for an answer to why the adult acted they way they did. While my answer may not be exact, I tried to describe to them that sometimes people don’t give second, third, or fourth chances to children. If a child shows a pattern of behavior, it is hard to think that they could do any different then what they had done in the past. I told them that maybe this child had acted in a certain way in the past and the adult in the situation reacted as such. Sadly it happens with teachers and it can happen to all of us. While we did have an incident with the child, with a simple chat letting the child know that we expected more and that we believe in him the behavior was corrected. Every chance we got, we praised this child. He ended up having an awesome week.
Our youth learned this week that every day is a new day and every one of these children is a child of God, worthy of love. We all make mistakes, need second chances. Our second chances need to come from each other, because God continues to give us second chances. One of the songs Will and I taught for the signing choir was “Beautiful Things” by Gungor. In the song it, describes how God makes beautiful things out of the dust and He makes beautiful things out of us. This act is not singular, it is constant. We are constantly being made new and beautiful by God.
The child was given a part in our final performance. He gave it up for someone else. A humble, selfless, love filled act from a child who has not been given a second chance by the people around him. When we said good bye to the children, I gave him a big hug and told him, “You are a great kid, know you are loved.” I hope that he holds onto this; that he is loved by God and made new each day.