I was asked to help out with a local church’s Vacation Bible School, and somehow I stumbled through the first day, Kiddo #4 attached to my hip, herding the kids from activity to activity. (Job title: Youtherd.) I’ve been nervous that I’m going to mess it up and these kids will forever hate church, religion, and God because of one stupid VBS worker.
Tomorrow I actually have to do something, but today the most exciting part was finding myself in a pitch-black room with eighteen kindergarteners and first graders.
The VBS theme is outer space, and the science lesson was about light. The instructor made the room dark (while Kiddo #4 happily told me, “No yight! No yight!”) and shone a flashlight against the wall. He pointed out that you could see the place the light emerged from the flashlight, and the circle on the wall. Then he said, “And can we see the light beams?”
I immediately got what he was saying, but the kids didn’t at first, not until he sprinkled some talcum powder and it passed through the flashlight beam, and suddenly you could see the light because of the particulate matter descending through it.
He said, “God’s love is like that, where you can’t see it but you know it’s coming to you.”
For me, though, the lesson was better: because until that gritty stuff got into the air, you couldn’t see the light at all. The clean air didn’t show the light. It was the dirty air. Not until he messed it up.
My takeaway: even if I mess up this week, that’s just another way God’s love can be shown. You can’t stop light. You can only reflect it in different directions.
There’s more to it, of course. I believe God loves us, and we don’t always see it during the “process” part of our lives, but then it strikes home and we realize it was there all along, even when we couldn’t detect it.
Then we reflect it so others can feel loved too. Even if we do it imperfectly, it’s not wasted, just reflected differently, and it’s still good.