September 28, 2008

My Bittersweet Sunday School Lesson

Jesus Healed the Deaf Man

That was the title of my Sunday School lesson I was supposed to teach today. That Jesus healed the deaf and mute man, thus demonstrating His love for him.

So as I sat at a table talking about one of our students who is in a coma on his couch, dying, with a little girl whose mouth does not move the way her brains tells it to, a little boy with autism and adhd, and another little boy who cannot walk, speak clearly, or hardly get his own animal cracker to his mouth, I didn't know what to say.

I couldn't read the words Lifeway had written for me to read. There is nothing inaccurate about them, but the lesson at my table is so much deeper than Jesus healing the deaf, mute man... Jesus loving the deaf, mute man by healing him.

So I sat there struggling to speak with tears in my eyes, knowing that these children know more about this pain than I ever will. They know so much more the wondering if Jesus knows their sufferings. And there I held in my hand a lesson about Jesus healing that man. Yes, Jesus loved that man. And healed him with a touch. Yes, Jesus loves the ten kids on my Special Friends Class roll. So why hasn't He healed each one of them? Why won't He?

(And why did He heal me when I got run over by a car?)

I know the answers to say. But it was exponentially more difficult to look into the trusting eyes of those children and share this story today. I limped my way through, feeling bad for even teaching it. I told them that we all need healing. We all have hearts that don't work right. And that running, speaking, and reading well are not what earn us a space in heaven. They don't make Jesus love us any more than the next kid. And that for some reason, God chooses different challenges for each of us. Life IS hard! And God doesn't always heal us. But I know, that I know, that I know that Jesus LOVES them. So that's what I told them.

The amazing, beautiful thing? That they believe me.

Praise God.


Sabrina said...

Wow. I'm speechless. And extremely convicted. Here I am having my own Job moment, wondering if God even knows me, wondering how to find hope... and pow! God's words always have a way of putting things into perspective. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I wonder why God deals with me. I will be using this in the WF!

Leslie said...

In tears here friend. I missed this post earlier this year.

I understand how lessons look very different when you are confronted with the truth of a broken world in the form of beautiful children.

I love you heart friend and your willingness to both love and learn from those with whom you have been entrusted.