Sorry for the long absence. It’s been a whale of a month. The past 27 days have held more illness for our family than we’ve collectively seen in years. A nasty respiratory virus hit us all, spinning off a host of additional ailments: pink eye times five (Jess got it twice), fevers, ear infections, pneumonia, rashes and sinus infections. Imagine a symphony of coughing . . . four-part harmony . . . around the clock. After five antibiotic prescriptions, I wish we owned pharmaceutical shares.
Needless to say, it probably wasn’t the right time to hammer home the final tidbits from the Forgiveness lesson. “However,” I reasoned in my sleep-deprived state, “We’re all home for once (too sick to go to soccer, school or work) and we could use a nice, calm, quiet activity.” Despite the warning voice in the back of my mind, I assembled our motley, ailing crew and forced myself to sound more enthusiastic than I felt.
I preached about holding grudges. I droned through the kids’ sample prayers. The kids responded with glassy-eyed stares and coughing fits. Then I thought I’d get really clever as I taught the “Unforgiveness is Unacceptable” Bible story. The contents of a piggy bank got dumped out on the table. I gave Jess a whole pile of money and gave Ben just a couple of coins. Rather clever visual, hey? Well, the kids loved the new “toys” so much that they didn’t hear a word I said about forgiving each other. I tried to role-play with Jess as the king, but she simply couldn’t remember whom she was supposed to forgive. Ben just kept spinning his pennies on the table.
It was frustrating for my type A personality to not have this “loose end” nicely tidied up; I felt like we finished our forgiveness teaching on a really weak note. But that shouldn’t have surprised me, weak as we were in body, mind and spirit. Lesson learned.
The kids are almost back to good health again. I’ve got about as much energy as a sloth, but at least we’re into the lazy days of summer. Wonder which lesson we’ll do next? The new ones look intriguing: Courage would be great as both kids head into swimming lessons and learn to ride two-wheelers. Humility could be tied into the recent triumphant completion of soccer season. Joy . . . hmmm, the first thing I think of is “joy in suffering.” We could use some work on that!
Whatever we do, I’m sure it’ll go better than this last attempt. Thankfully, God is in the business of redeeming our paltry efforts.