When we discovered that three of our Kid's Club girls had posted on Facebook some horribly unkind remarks about another child in the Club and his mother, I was not only horrified but also sought wisdom on how to handle the situation. The child who was attacked is a special needs child.
A few days later I called to one of the girls. "I want to tell you about something that happened and get your input," I said. "Ok," she responded.
I began, "A few days ago, someone brought us a stray puppy with a deformed leg. The momma dog was with it too. While we were trying to decide what to do with them, kids began to come in after school. All of a sudden one of the kids started kicking the little puppy for no reason, just because it looked different. Then they started kicking the momma dog, too. What do you think we should do?"
"You should kick those kids out of Kid's Club for at least a week," she said in a very incensed tone. "Who was it?"
"It was you," I said, looking her right in the eyes. And I named the other two girls.
A confused face suddenly gave way to one of embarrassed recognition. I went on to fill out the parable a bit. I told her that I wanted her to start going out of her way to show this child kindness, because he was more in need of compassion than most. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I can do that."
And she has done it! The following day I heard her muttering under her breath as she passed me in the living room, "I'm not going to kick that puppy any more. Not goin' to do it."
Thank you Nathan the prophet, II Samuel 12, for the inspiration!
-- Suzanne Wallace