Friday, September 6, 2013

"Me + You = We?"

"Me + You = We?"  That's the name of our new after-school club! Starting Monday, for the next three weeks, we'll be exploring diversity and conflict resolution together. How do I feel when I am around people who look or speak differently from me? What if I am in an argument with someone and they don't want to make up with me? What if someone I don't like needs my help? We'll look at these and other questions through the context of the biblical narrative. And in the last week, we'll visit a children's club in another district to know some people in a different part of Berlin. 

While Melinda, my co-teacher, and I developed the concept for this after-school club, the credit for the name goes to the religion teacher at our school. She is a wonderful lady with great ideas. I love the open-endedness of that question! We don't want to give the kids pat answers. We want them to think critically,  explore the possibilities, and see what the Bible says about such situations. 

We all know that in the real world,  "me" + "you" does not always equal "we", even when we really want it to. Something that again reminded me of this and helps me not give easy answers happened a couple of weeks ago. A person that I tried in good will to offer help to lashed out at me, making some pretty heavy accusations, and refused to believe that I was not belittling him. Even after I did everything I could to make peace, the person was and is still angry at me. It was a real challenge for me to go on, forgive  and bless a person that had so misjudged my character! But that's real life, isn't it? I'm actually thankful in retrospect that this happened, so that I think carefully about what I say to the children. 

My hope is that God will meet all of us and show us new things through this club. That's one of the things that I cherish about Godly Play - we adults are co-learners with the children and learn from them as much as they learn from us!

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