There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’
A few weeks ago, during our morning walk, Q.-Age-Five pointed to the school across the street from our neighborhood. “What’s that?” she asked. “It’s a school,” I answered. I thought she knew, and perhaps she did, but wanted to be sure. “Can I go there?” she asked. It was an interesting question to me, because my first two children would never have wanted to go to a school. They are both pretty introverted and place high value on time alone. Neither of them finds the idea of a daily classroom full of other children appealing.
But Q. has always been more social, and O.-Age-Three even moreso.
I always knew these sorts of discussions were in my future.
“No,” I replied. I wasn’t sure what she was getting at, so I thought it best to give short answers and hear what she had to say.
“Why not?” she asked.
I don’t think she was asking to go, but trying to figure out why she would never go, if that makes sense.
And so I explained, very briefly, that it was not a Christian school, and reminded her that our family believes in Christian education for Christian children.
“There are Christian schools out there, like PVCC, the one Friend L. goes to, but our family cannot afford such a school, so I teach you myself,” I told her.
I wanted to pour my whole heart out to her, and tell her that we wanted Jesus to be welcome in every part of her day, that He be just as welcome at math time as at Bible time, that we want her to know His Lordship over all things.
But I kept it simple, because she is a preschooler, after all.
She seemed to find that answer acceptable, and the day moved on without incident.
Which brings us to yesterday, when we visited History Camp at our local Pioneer Village. Pioneer Village has, among other things, the original one-room schoolhouse from the 1800s. This is the school from our actual school district, the original school which was replaced by the school Daughter Q. had pointed at on that day a few weeks ago.
There was a teacher from the local charter school dressed up like an old fashioned school marm, and a few students dressed up in pioneer dresses as well. Most of the time, the old schoolhouse room is locked behind glass, but on this day the door was open and our children could actually go in, take a seat beside the iron stove in real 1800s wooden desks.
It was so perfect my friend’s daughter thought Almanzo would be there!
When the children went inside, the teacher would first tell them a little about the schoolhouse and how a day would work, complete with pumping water outside and bringing it in. And then the children could get slates and chalk out of their desks and do a little lesson. It was really cute.
But when I told my children to run inside, Daughter Q. hung back. She’s been sick all week, so I thought that perhaps she didn’t feel like participating, or possibly she was being sulky. I pulled her aside.
“Don’t you want to go in with the others?” I asked. Many of her friends were inside as well.
“Mom,” she said, and she sounded irritated with me. And then she whispered, “Is this a Christian school?’
It was all I could do not to laugh, and yet she was so sweet and concerned that I knew it would hurt her feelings if I did.
“It’s just pretend,” I said. “You go have fun,”
And off she ran.
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