Have you noticed when people are going through a rough patch, nothing seems to make them happy? They start picking at things that never seemed to be an issue before. They are grouchy and begin to cause problems. If you are lucky, you do not become the focus of their negative attention, but someone does. And when it is you, it’s just plain frustrating.
Something must be in the water! This week I noticed an older gentlemen my husband works with had become irritable and unpleasant to be around. He was bringing up issues from his life that had happened years ago and were resolved… long ago. What was going on? Then it came to my attention a man I have volunteered alongside for your years has been upset and stirring up the pot. Why?
When you notice people around you who are not normally agrrivated now show many signs of irritability, there’s probably more to the story. I’d like to challenge you to keep this in mind next time you run into a situation similar to mine. First, be patient. Second, prayer for them. And third, ask if there is something going on in their life they would like to talk about. They may just need a friend. In my husband’s case, the gentlemen was having financially struggles. In mine, a volunteer was feeling uncertain of where he stood in his job. These uncertainties bring about stress that overflows into other areas of life.
So what does this have to do with children’s ministry? A co-worker or volunteer may be needing your patience, prayers and understanding. A child may be going through these very same feelings. I recently had a third grader acting out in class. She normally is a hyper child and can be a bit disruptive at times, but this was different. She was telling the teacher “no” and drawing a devil when instructed to draw and angel. This was out of the ordinary. What was wrong? Turns out, her mom had been in the hospital the past few weeks. All this little girl needed at that time was patience, prayer and understanding.