A Little Hug

I currently play piano for a little church in a nearby town.  I’ve always had a soft spot for small churches, because I’ve found that they often have huge hearts.  This one is no exception.  There is a lot of love and warmth coming from such a small congregation.  The other thing about small churches, however, is that you have to be flexible when there’s a need.

For example…  I’m the pianist.  My ‘job’ is to show up ready to plunk away on the keyboard as the pastor’s wife leads the song service.  And because it’s a small church, I also put together the song service and help lead practices.  But yesterday, after my usual half hour behind the keyboard, I found myself in a little room filled with six small children and middle-schoolers.  Due to unforseen events, there was no Sunday School teacher and no helper for nursery.  So I, and our guitarist, found ourselves wearing a completely new hat, so to speak.

And to be honest, I was WAY out of my comfort zone.  I’m not around little kids very often, and –although I can handle one or two — trying to entertain six of them was a tad bit frightening.  To make matters worse, I was already ‘out of it’ that morning’.  During the song service, I had a few too many slip-ups if you ask me.  Our guitarist said she didn’t even notice the wrong notes I played.  But I did.  And I’m sure that anyone watching my face during the service knew too, because I still can’t help grimacing when I hit a wrong note.  🙂

So I wasn’t feeling on top of my game.  And as I sat on the nursery floor to try stopping two little boys from fighting over a singing caterpillar, I kind of said a prayer for survival.  For my survival.  Or, even better, that I might be instantly transformed into Super Nanny, complete with glasses and THE look. 

As the morning wore on, I found myself wondering if they shouldn’t have just cancelled the regularly scheduled activities for the children.  Mainly because I didn’t feel very well-equipped.  I couldn’t even handle the matching game a five-year-old wanted to play with me.  (Seriously, this kid was way too good at that matching game).  And the middle-schoolers were hard to keep occupied, as they kept reminding me that they desperately wanted to be in ‘real’ Sunday School. 

I tried my best to stay positive and bubbly and — soon enough — we did manage to find a sweet spot of order and activity.  The girls wrote out Bible questions on a dry-erase board and then shouted them out to me so that I could answer them.  Meanwhile, I was sitting on the floor playing an imaginary video game with two little boys.  Somehow, I was always eaten by a dinosaur.  And the one baby in the room happily bounced in her chair. 

I’m not saying that everything was perfect.  I still didn’t feel like I was in my A-game.  And when the last parent had picked up their child, I breathed a sigh of relief… then accidentally flipped over the Connect 4 game in my hands and consequently scattered an array of yellow and red chips all across the floor.  Ugh!  But as I bent over to pick it all up, one of the curly-haired little boys ran back to me and threw his arms around  my neck to give me a big hug.

“You’re fun,” he said, a huge smile on his face.

And I realized that God had used me in spite of myself and everything I thought I couldn’t do.  Sure, I’m no Super Nanny.  But I made one little boy’s morning.  And he sure made mine.

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7 Responses to A Little Hug

  1. Megan says:

    Awesome post Nicole! Yay for you pulling through 🙂 I work with kiddos ranging from 12 months through age 13, so believe me, I know full well it can be tricky. Especially if it’s a group you don’t know! God has a way of lifting us up to do what we believe is the unthinkable…oftentimes when we least expect it, but surely need it. Those little unexpected hugs have helped me navigate some of the most difficult path’s I ‘ve been presented with over the years. Good story my dear. Thanks fir sharing!

  2. ‘And I realized that God had used me in spite of myself and everything I thought I couldn’t do. ”

    Good for you!!

  3. Meg says:

    I love this… so much. 🙂

    I teach the 3-year olds at my church and it’s always chaotic (I’ve had up to 7 0r 8 at a time!) but what I’ve noticed is that they don’t seem to mind the chaos and when I have to miss a week, some of them get pretty upset when I’m gone. It’s wonderful how they can look up to us (and make us want to be a better example!).

  4. Wow, that’s so awesome! God works in such mysterious ways. 🙂

  5. Tien says:

    What a nice story! I’m sure you made an awesome Sunday school teacher 🙂

  6. This was such a cute story. And that little boy sounds so adorable. 😀

    Great job, by the way! I’m sure Supernanny wouldn’t expect any one person to watch 6 kids of around the same age, all by themself, and expect everything to go 100% perfectly. I think I might have gone just a bit insane and maybe hid under a stack of books…haha. You handled it well! 😀

  7. Pingback: Weekend Linkiness ~ 27/03/11 « Hope Scribbles

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