Tristan is Start Student this week in his 1st grade class, which means he’s top dog.  He gets to fill out a “Read All About Me!” poster, bring in a favorite book and photos to display in the special Star Student spot, he gets to be first in line for lunch as well as lead when going to other classes and then on Friday, when he shares his photos and poster with the class, he gets to read his favorite book aloud.

When T found out he was going to be Star Student last Friday, he began preparing what he would bring in come Monday which included the book…

Great book…don’t get me wrong, but honestly I’ve never seen him read it.  I figured he knew I would be happy with his choice because it’s a story about baby Jesus and we encourage our kids to share their love for Christ with everyone.  Besides, after the whole Sneak & Share cross incident a couple months ago (They won’t understand) I just figured he was trying to do the “right thing.”  So I asked him,

“This is your favorite book?”

“Yes.” He said.

“It is?!!” I questioned.

“Yes.” He repeated.

“What’s it about?!”  I quizzed…and he told me.  Everything!  He knew the story!  Okay then, I thought.

Looking back now I should have realized how much that book meant to him, especially when Monday morning rolled around and the only thing he remembered to bring to school with him was the book, but I didn’t give it a second thought until a few days passed.

On Wednesday I received an email from Tristan’s teacher:

“… Due to school policy, we won’t be able to read that book to the whole class due to its content related to Christmas and religion.  I’m sorry.”

Honestly, it wasn’t a shocker.  Sure it was a bummer but T’s a reader and I figured he had plenty of favorite stories to choose from.  I’m sure he won’t care too much about it, and I said as much to his teacher.

Jax, on the other hand had more to say:

“… To not give Tristan the same opportunity as his fellow students (to have his favorite book read) because of the book’s religious content is nothing short of religious discrimination.  A six year old will not understand the (errant) political motivations behind the decision, only that he is being treated differently because he believes in God! …”

“Oh gees,”  I thought, “poor girl.”  Tristan’s teacher is a 2nd year teacher…quite young, and I was embarrassed a bit by Jax’s response.  I agree with him of course, but like Tristan’s teacher I figured this wasn’t a huge deal and Tristan could just bring in another book.  She was just following the “rules” after all.

Now this really is a mess, I thought.

It wasn’t long before Tristan came bounding through the door, fresh off the bus yelling,

“Moooooooooom!”

He told me about the book and that they can’t read it in class.

“Why?”  I said testing him to see how much he knew about it.

“She said I have ‘plenty of favorite stories’ and to bring in another book,”  eerily echoing the exact phrase I said to his teacher, “but I don’t!” He exclaimed.

“Sure you do, T!” I said.

“No, I don’t!  That’s my favorite!  The other kids got to read their books…”

His words hit me like a blow to the gut, I felt them cut straight to my heart.

 

I never liked kids.  Growing up I never enjoyed babysitting or being around kids and was a common belief among my friends that either I would be last to have kids or not have any at all.

I always thought they were annoying; smelly, whiny, loud and foolish.

After I accepted Christ as my Savior, when I heard a person (including my husband) share their story about coming to know Christ at the age of three, four or five I thought they were nuts.  There was no way a decision of that magnitude could be made by a child.  They were just spewing what they had heard their parents say…about “that one time they gave their heart to Jesus.”

But even God’s word tells us that it’s the the innocence and unwaivering eyes of a child that we will know truth and have faith.

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”   Mark 10:15

Now that I have children of my own (I can still hear the collective and shocked gasp from my friends) I fear I still don’t truly get how much they understand.  Children love and trust unequivocally.  Their thinking is simple and sincere and has not yet been corrupted by others.  They don’t need to have answers to the mysteries of the universe.  It is enough to know that God loves us and provides forgiveness for our sins.

God holds children in high esteem.

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.    Matthew 18:3-6

So should we.

 

Have you approached God like that of a child?  Forget everything this world has taught you.

When you were little, think back to a time when you were confused or scared and the only place you knew to turn was your Dad.  You didn’t know how he would fix things, you just knew he would.  You would lift your arms up to him and he would scoop you up, hold you tight and everything would be better.

That’s what God does for us.

It’s when we approach Him, nowhere else to turn… arms outstretched and nothing to offer… asking for forgiveness and to help make everything better…

We need to be that child needing only His love, His protection, His forgiveness…

 

He’s waiting.

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