This weekend, the Camp Grace students learned about forgiveness. In Matthew 18, Peter asks Jesus how many times we should forgive our offenders, and Jesus' answer is, "Seventy times seven."
To be a seven year old that can't do that kind of multiplication easily, that number may as well be a million! As we sat around the dinner table Saturday evening after church, talking about our worship time, we knew our seven year old had written something about forgiveness on her class worksheet. She had drawn a picture of a person saying mean things, and another picture of someone crying. When we asked her about it, she opened up about something someone at school had said to her that hurt her feelings. This incident happened over a month ago, and she still remembered the hurtfulness of it. She was also dumbfounded that Jesus expected us to forgive without any strings attached.
It was a great opportunity for us as parents, for many reasons. First, we were able to immediately sit and talk about the truths her teachers had brought to her in class and help her apply them practically. We also had the opportunity to gain insight about how the Holy Spirit is moving in her life: did she want to forgive? Was she mad? Or sad? Has she truly forgiven? Does she need to talk to this student about the offense? And her dad and I were also very grateful for the chance she had to hear God's word, taught from loving teachers who are truly interested in what God is doing in her life. They helped lay the foundation for a fruitful discussion with our daughter. Most of all, we were able to point her to the abundant forgiveness we have in Christ, and that because He has forgiven us of our sins, as an act of love and obedience we are called to do the same for others who sin against us.
By the end of our chat, not only did our daughter have a better understanding of Christ and what His work on the cross did for her, but we were also laughing at the situation at school that had, moments ago, had her in tears. I know this is one talk in a million we will have full of tears and hurt as we continue this journey with her, but I am thankful for a ministry that brings the truth of the Gospel into our everyday language, the volunteers that faithfully deliver that truth in the classroom, and most of all for a Savior who understands the trials we face.
- Molly Burns, Saturday Night Coordinator