Today was Sharing Day at CBS in my neck of the woods. When I did BSF, they had those, too, but I never actually went. =) Community Bible Study does things a bit differently, in many ways. Their sharing day is a brunch, and each small group decorates a table and brings food to share. It's basically a time to recognize and thank those who help out, and it's a time to share what God taught you through the study this year.
It was a great picture of the body of Christ functioning as it should to see all these ladies, old, young, and in between, who love the Lord, hugging each other, thanking each other, and sharing what Christ had done in their lives through the year. We don't go to the same churches, in fact, we don't even know where most of us go to church. I think that's part of the beauty of it. We don't get hung up on denominational differences... but each of us has the essentials of loving the Lord and His Word first and foremost. What we study is Scripture alone, and we answer questions about that and discuss our answers in small group.
They did a little slide show of the children, and I got to see my little man's face on the big screen, being oohed and ahhed over. I know I'll probably see many of these slide shows in my future parenting years, but this was a first for me, and it was special. I also got to see a glimpse of what Seth will be doing in years to come. The kid's classes have great Bible lessons, starting with his class next year. There is even an elementary school curriculum for homeschoolers. There was a homeschool class this year, and we saw pictures of them making a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. Several of the moms talked about the blessing of watching their children get excited about the Bible through their study this year. I thought, "I have this to look forward to, even when we start homeschooling one day." It was a sweet thing to imagine.
I got to see all of the wonderful ladies who spend countless hours preparing lessons to teach our children. Many of them have taught their classes for years. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by their utter selflessness. I have prepared lessons for children through my preschool teaching years, in vacation Bible school, etc. I know how much work it is. They've put in hundreds of hours preparing and teaching the next generation to love Christ. They haven't gotten a single red cent in return for their investment, but they sure have my gratitude, for whatever that's worth.
I know I wrote early in the fall about my frustration with a rule that keeps moms with small kids from attending small group luncheons. Well, I've learned a few things since that rant. =) The day I found out that women with small children couldn't come to luncheons unless they had a babysitter, those around me noticed how sad I was about this. Silly, I know, but they noticed my silliness, and they were concerned. So concerned that the leader of our local CBS called me at home to offer to watch my son so I could go to a luncheon. Pause and think about that for a second. She sounded like she really wanted to, and she didn't live far from the lady's house where we were having luncheon, so I dropped him off. He had a great time, and I saw firsthand how much these ladies really do care about others.
I got up this morning in sharing day to talk about how much I appreciate CBS and its leadership. But I didn't share that anecdote. I shared another one. By this time, you may have realized that I have no intuitive sense of rules that differ from what I'm used to at your local church Bible study. CBS has a few, and I stumbled headlong into another one. I invited a friend to come when it was mentioned that it was time to invite friends to check it out. I didn't realize that it was against a rule for her to leave her children in the nursery if she wasn't currently enrolled. Well, it ended badly with my friend getting her feelings hurt. I was angry and sad. I was angry at myself for not asking more questions, and I was frustrated with the leaders for not finding a way to keep her from being embarrassed by having to go home.
Well, I talked to our leader about it afterward. I shared my frustration and worry that this would keep my friend from coming to Bible study again the future. I talked about finding a way, any way, to keep from hurting someone's feelings over a rule if there has been an honest misunderstanding. And you know what happened? After I talked to her, she said, "I'm starting to think that we may have made a mistake in how we handled this." I was floored. What incredible humility this woman has! She got my friend's address, and she wrote her an apology letter. The head of the children's program also wrote her an apology letter. And she was impressed. She may even just sign up for next year, despite the drama! And I know if she does, it will be because of the Christlike love and humility that she was shown by these amazing ladies. I'm a dope, and she also forgave me. =)
This morning, I shared, in abbreviated form, my great respect for my leader's humility and kindness. I hope that Christ will grow me into a woman like that one day, and it makes me feel so good to know that she and others like her are leading our local Community Bible Study.