We have been struggling with a second grader all year. To say that his behavior has been a real challenge would be quite an understatement. He refused to sit in a classroom, tried to ‘run away’ – actually out of the building several times, and when in church would spend most of his time on the floor under the pew. We have tried everything, being kind, bribing, promising rewards, being firm, threatening to call mom (poor mom has been so distraught), all to no avail. Little David had a mind of his own and he let us know that!
Finally I asked one of our volunteers to just sit with him and accompany him for the time that he was with us. Bridget can be a little ‘firm’ sometimes but she was willing to take on the task and I was grateful. The situation didn’t get much better, he would act up, she would come down on him and things would escalate. I began to sit behind them both in church just to keep an eye on things. When I spoke with Bridget this week she told me that she was coming to church on Sunday because she had to sit with David. I cringed….another day of listening to her ‘boss’ him around and watching him shut down.
When I finally took my seat behind them yesterday, he turned to me with a smile, (I’m not sure that I had ever seen that smile before) and showed me a silver cross that he was wearing around his neck. I had never seen his face so happy, almost radiant, as he held the cross up for me to admire. He looked at Bridget and said, ‘she gave it to me’. I looked at Bridge and she smiled. It was a simple cross, you know the kind they send you in the mail after you donate a dollar or two. You would have thought that she gave him a million dollars by the expression on his face.
Throughout the morning I watched him as he was either gazing down at that cross or taking it off and holding it tightly in his hands. At one point he even leaned up against Bridget, putting his little head on her. Even Bridget seemed different, softened by the love of a child.
David was a different boy yesterday, transformed by the cross, a little cross worth more to him than any amount of money. The cross was the bond between a loving adult and an unruly child.
The cross continues to be our eternal bond between a Father and His children.