I have so much work to do that I should not be writing right now but I'm perturbed and can't get it out of my mind so writing it shall be.
Today I watched, and tried to stop, a girl from getting bullied by other kids. This seems to be a constant battle. Yes, she is kind of quirky and will say stuff to get attention but she is just seeking love and affection. The other kids know this, they have spent plenty of time around her to know this which also means they know what they can say to set her off and then it gives them more to tease her about. Well today they were doing just that, and I was doing my best to stop them but this isn't school we can't discipline them. Well one just happened to say the one thing that sent her and out the door she went. I chased her down and the poor girl was in tears and infuriated that once again she was being bullied. I only know her for about 20 minutes after school every day and with other kids that doesn't leave a lot of time to get to know someone very well. So it was difficult to know what to say to her so I, hopefully, reassured her that I do see this bullying and I am working on stopping it. I am so ready to tell those other kids they can't come back anymore.
There is such a fine line we sit on as a church. We want to be welcoming to everyone and have open doors, hearts, and minds so that everyone can have the opportunity to see Christ and get to know Him. But when kids are obviously being hurt within our doors then obviously they are not getting see the love of Christ, and if the adults have to continuously look like meanies then the other kids aren't either, but then if you kick kids out then they could have a bad image of the church as well and they are not getting the positive instruction they receive when we call them out on their bad behavior. Oh the conundrum of this world I have found myself in.
Well I know there is only so much we can take from the bullies before, for everyone's sake, we have to let them go. I am praying that there is enough time to turn some of these kids around and ensure them that they are loved the way they are and that this place is not a place to come with hurtful words but where they all can come together and enjoy a snack after school in peace without fear or anxiety of what others will say. This simple after school program is proving to be a more difficult part of my job than I would like to admit at times. No wonder I am so exhausted after they leave and they are only here for 30 minutes tops.
I am open to suggestions!