I got a call from Lily’s kindergarten teacher asking if I would come in and volunteer at lunchtime as a playground dad. Someone else could not make it and they needed a replacement. It was early September and the year had just begun. I agreed and showed up the following Friday for duty.
Somehow, that one afternoon has turned into four years of Friday lunches, countless dodge ball games and amazing opportunities to let kids know they matter.
More then anything, it has been a chance to be available—available to my daughter, available to her friends. I never show up with an agenda and I don’t really consider it ministry. It is just life. It is my daughter’s life, and I get tobe a part of it in a way that matters to her.
About halfway through my first year of doing this, I prayed a prayer that meant as much to me as any prayer I have ever prayed, “God, I pray that you would allow me to see these kids graduate high school.” I was asking God if I could be a weekly campus presence until Lily’s final week of her senior year in 2020. It was a big prayer with big consequences. It was a commitment to stay put and not seek the next big opportunity.
At this point, I don’t know what it would take for me to break that commitment. Cancer maybe? It would most definitely not be for a better paying job or career advancement. I just don’t really care about all that. The cost is too high, those fourth graders too precious. I know them now, their struggles, their joys, their hopes.
There have been no miracles yet that I know of. No one has given his or her life to Christ as a result of me being there. Rather, it is just common grace in ordinary events and an opportunity at long devotion in a single direction. May God bless you in yours!
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