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Heart Matters: The Wisdom Wing

wingSomeone recently suggested I was wasting my gifts running the nursery at our church. After all, I could be teaching adults; I know a thing or two about the Bible. I should be leading a Bible study. I should wise up and bid farewell to the preschool wing and move upstairs.

I could attend church unconcerned by another Sunday with an unacceptable child-to-adult ratio. I wouldn't have to listen to any screaming babies. I wouldn't have to take that toddler by the hand and explain, yet another time, that we don't throw toys, we don't hit, and we do use our inside voices.

No thanks.

I don't care to encourage my brothers and sisters upstairs to huddle in exclusivity, soaking up knowledge. I'd rather pull them into humble service. It's better for them in the long run.

Some of them hate it. They "do their time" and get out. Preschool is prison for them, and I'm the warden. A fine calling God gave me, they think. They don't mean any harm, and I've learned not to take it personally when they roll their eyes, mumble about being out until midnight on Saturday, gripe that it's only been five weeks since they did this, or run in the other direction when they see me coming.

I know that some are willing, by grace, to wipe snot off a teary face, build a block tower destined for swift destruction, listen to a garbled prayer about a sick cat that threw up in Mommy's bed, and sing one more round of "Jesus Loves the Little Children." In serving here, people gain the wisdom needed to live by the Word they study so enthusiastically.

Wisdom runs deep where knowledge falls short.

In response to the suggestion that I find a more impressive ministry of service, a better use of my gifts, I just shake my head and tell myself, "I'll get out of the nursery when I finally wise up."

So I'll run the wisdom wing here at my church. Let somebody else teach adult Bible studies. On days I'm not feeling too wise or fulfilled in my calling or loved by the children, at least I've got entertainment. Have you ever watched an exquisitely beautiful 2-year-old wrap her little arms around a crying playmate? I have. Have you ever listened to a small boy describe his mother? I ask questions. How tall is she? Seven feet. How much does she weigh? Forty pounds. What does she like to do? Take care of me.

Sometimes people skip out on the nursery because they want to go to "real church." That's okay. Let them go to church. I don't want them to miss it either. I love my pastor; he preaches a good sermon. I've tried handing out free sermon tapes because I know people need to hear the sermon. I myself will listen to the sermon I hear each Sunday-in our nursery.

So let them go. I'll stay in the nursery. The lesson may not be enlightening for adults, and the music may not stir an adult's soul. But the invitation is heavenly, enduring, and holy. This isn't missing church. This is church. cm


Vicki Buchhold is a preschool director at Central Baptist Church in Sanford, Florida.

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