He stood behind a wooden and weathered podium with both hands resting on the corners of the lectern that held his Bible. The face and eyes of Jesus looked to be those of a very young man. There were none of the usual lines and creases across his face or brow that worry, frustration, and anxiousness brought to others. To the children he appeared to be the most kind and gentle person they had ever seen.
Kids are very perceptive.
The cares of life teachers or parents bring to their classrooms or kitchen tables can inhibit the children’s learning.
Though the face of Jesus portrayed youth, his hands seemed to indicate he was much older. His hands were strong, but rugged and weathered like the timber podium on which they rested. When he passed among the children, placing his gentle hands upon each shoulder, the children noticed the big rough calluses on his palms. His hands had toiled hard at something. The scars though, attracted the most interest from the kids.
What had happened to his hands that made those ugly, jagged cuts? Had there been a terrible accident on a table or house he had worked on some time ago?
As he stood ready to teach Jesus looked down at the words he was about to read and said, “Turn in your bibles to Psalm 34, verse eleven.”
He began to read aloud,
“Come you children, listen to me, I will teach you…”
“Teacher,” the boy interrupted. “What happened to your hands?” The little sandy haired boy in front of the class blurted out the question all of the kids were wondering.
Jesus stopped his lesson to address the child and the teachable moment.
“Oh these?” Graciously and calmly, Jesus questioned as he lifted his hands up to his face. “I got these wounds while I was with my friends.”
“And one shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
Zechariah 13: 6
If you are like me, you probably do not care for interruptions. I use this imaginary scene to help you (and me) think about our responses to interruptions from our children.
When you and I were children, we interrupted adults on many occasions. How they responded, affected how we would act as we grew up.
Do you want your children to grow up eager to learn and able to boldly ask questions? Are there things you want your children to explore, enjoy, and experience? Do you want your kids to feel comfortable coming to you, anytime or anywhere?
In order to nourish this, let your children interrupt you with bold, untimely, and possibly unwelcome questions. Let them ‘bother you’ just when you have settled down in front of the television after a hard day of work. Or…when you have your head and torso stuffed under the counter of a broken faucet with your hands soiled from sewage, welcome that silly question. (Been there!)
Here are a few guidelines for interruptions:
Manners and respect:
1. If your child interrupts a conversation with another person, gently put your hand on his shoulder to acknowledge his presence. Quickly say, “As soon as we are done, I will hear what you have to say.”
2. Teach your child to say, “Excuse me” (just one time!) if he is interrupting a conversation.
Interruptions regarding work or rest. (Which is the focus of this article.)
1. Be available.
2. Be attentive.
3. Be welcoming.
Let your child know he is important and not an annoyance.
A prayer for your family:
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for being annoyed by my child’s interruptions. Please help me to be more gracious and loving when he/she comes to me with things that seem of little importance. Give to me an eagerness to welcome those interruptions. Amen.
How do you handle interruptions? Do you handle them graciously and calmly?
Join me in paying attention to the responses we give to our children this week. I wonder, can you and I be more welcoming and less bothered when they are asking questions or needing help?
The more practice we have at handling interruptions the better we should become…right? Aren’t kids great?
“Come ye children, listen to me, I will teach you…”
Psalm 34:11 (NKJV)