Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One Question, Six Voices: Lent Week Four

This week's Lenten question from Rethink Church:
Where are you encountering Jesus in the unlikeliest of places? #spirituality

The past couple of months, Gavin has been struggling with some anxiety, especially with new people and/or new places. We're pretty sure it has everything to do with starting kindergarten in the fall. We've been talking it up a lot at home, his teachers and friends have been talking about it a lot at daycare, and I think my poor guy is just getting more anxious the more we talk about it.

It manifested at his Taekwondo classes a few months ago when a new boy talked to him. He didn't know him, he didn't want to talk to him, and he lost it, running over to me with fear in his eyes, unable to articulate why he was so upset. Since then, it's been a slow road helping him get up the courage every Monday and Wednesday to participate, especially if that means someone new might talk to him, someone new might teach him, or something new might happen during class.

He's doing great, and I'm so thankful we've got this experience to lean on when kindergarten comes in the fall and these same fears creep up for him again. But I'm even more thankful for the community of people who've helped him (and us) through the struggle of the last few months.

A counselor friend created a plan to help us work through his fears, even more friends prayed for him every Monday and Wednesday night, other parents encouraged him during class and cheered him on when he did a good job, friends and co-workers asked how he was doing, a class helper gave him a medal "just for being brave." The list could go on for a good long while.

They're people who love him, people who care about him—even people who barely know him—but all of those people have been Jesus in the flesh for him. The unexpected part in all of that is not that these friends and strangers reached out to a kid who was struggling, but that they went out of the way to help him in his struggle. They looked outside of themselves.

Because of their kindness, because of their love...he's been able to get past some of his fears, and as small as those things may sound, their actions have made a monumental difference in our lives.
Gavin and his buddy Jacob, who encourages him at every class. 

This post is one of six points-of-view on the same topic. Check out what my friends think of this week's question on their blogs: ShawnHeatherStephBrian and Julia.

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