I was reminded and I can’t believe that I forgot.
It was momentary but I should not have missed it.
In the moment I was at a loss because I was focused on other things; relevant things but not with clarity and understanding.
Yesterday I was in this place with (Arcas). She (Arcas is a name in place of who “she” really is due to some following connections to this Greek character) was not following instructions, responding to conversational queues, reluctant to make contact, and I could see she was shutting down.
“Arcas, let’s go have a talk with mom. We’ll talk this out and see what we need to do to move forward and understand each other.”
“I hate it here! I don’t have a mom!”
Oh, no … I forgot … I missed it
When I was in the moment, all about the task, I forgot about the person. I did not spend time with her and get to know her or try to understand her perspective and what she was bringing from her lifethat moment. She was missing pieces of life and after digging more the reasons were far more extensive. Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. writes about this in A framework for understanding poverty (p 30).
Teachers want to get right to the point; parents [referencing parent-teacher conferences but here in relation to a student conversation], particularly those from poverty, need to beat around the bush first. When teachers cut the conversation and get right to the point, parents view that as being rude and non-caring. Second, writing becomes particularly difficult for students because they tend to circle the mulberry bush and not meet the standard organizational pattern of getting to the point. This discourse pattern is coupled with a third pattern, that of story structure.
I expected to begin a conversation, Arcas to understand, and for us to move on. Due to 40+ other students in the area, I was distracted by what was coming next, movement of the the group, and what was 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 2 hours in the future.
But what about Arcas?
Dr. Payne continues (p 31):
The casual-register story structure begins with the end of the story first or the part with the greatest emotional intensity. The story is told in vignettes, with audience participation in between. The story ends with a comment about the character and his/her value. The most important part of the story is the characterization.
This week at Vacation Bible School (formally) and The place where we get snacks, sing crazy songs, play with friends, and hear stories about this guy named Jesus (informally) I want to … wait, that is too, formal.
This happened a long time ago as, well.
The theme this week is Galactic Starveyors: Discovering the God of the Universe and the point is to discover and the motto is: Searching the visible, discovering the invisible.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. – Colossians 1:15-16
(more on this in a bit)
So bring in [the Greek] Arcas. Look at that place between when Jupiter and Juno where a broken relationship has lasting impact. Callisto’s beauty, her identity, her force in life was taken away. In the middle of this confusion and struggle was Arcas. There is not much here about him but I can imagine that he may have spent time in the woods and hunted to escape and there he found something to fill the void. He was watching his parents fall apart and fight, struggle to fix what was wrong; things were out of order and he was misunderstood. This is all in the stars and you can see all this unfold! Find the Big Dipper and you can retell this story as, well! There are so many sons and daughters in this SAME PLACE encountering this SAME SITUATION.
Here is where the story changes! Arcas is not lost and is not forgotten! So, introduce Jesus that changes the story for “Arcas” who is the real “she” of the story. The one that is now, today, caught in the middle and trying to figure things out. So it was with Jesus when the disciples brought him kids to hang with that probably interrupted his flow and messed with the timing. This visitation schedule changed, the travel plans needed to be adjusted, but IN THAT MOMENT he says:
Some people were even bringing infants to Him so He might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:15-17
This is like Jesus pressed pause on all the distractions and told them to hold on and be in this moment. Be in this one RIGHT NOW and seek to understand what the big deal is. It is a very big deal because these kids have a purpose, plan, reason, and experience that orchestrated by the maestro of the stars. Check out what happened with Arcas? Even in his forgotten and misunderstood state the STORY CHANGED. The poverty that “Arcas” from Vacation Bible School is in runs deeper that her physical state and familiar patterns. Her life has potential and the hope that Jesus offers to the kids that come to him is an encouragement to me. I have been created BY HIM, THROUGH HIM, and FOR HIM (this is that part that I mentioned would be come a bit later)! I’m one of these kids and so is “Arcas”. The “story” is not over because the “characterization” becomes more real for me as I seek to know HIM more.