Sunday, March 20, 2011
Ice Cream Sandwiches, Tears, and Lent
On Sunday in Rite K (what we call our kid's church service), the kids were asked if they would consider either giving something up for Lent or adding something to their lives during this season as a sacrifice and/or service to God. I wrote this lesson plan, but didn't teach it, so when my daughter came back from Rite K, I whispered,
"What did you decide to do?"
"I decided to give up chocolate," she whispered back.
"That means no Oreos for dessert, you know," I said.
"I know, Mom," she said. "It'll be fine."
And it was fine. All through church. All through the drive home. All until we sat down to make the grocery list.
My younger daughter said, "Mom, don't forget to buy ice cream sandwiches!" To which Abby's head snapped up and a look of dread crossed over her face.
"But ice cream sandwiches have chocolate on them. And if you buy them, I'll see Hannah eating them. And then I'll want them."
Insert tears, a red face, and intense voice tone.
"But Hannah didn't give up chocolate. You did. She can still have it and you'll have to resist the temptation."
"But that's too much. That's too hard. I won't be able to do it," she lamented.
"Maybe you can convince Hannah to give up chocolate, too," I offered, but highly doubtful that my sweets-loving younger child would ever, ever consider letting go of that which makes her supremely happy.
A minute later, Abby announced, "Mom, you don't have to buy ice cream sandwiches. Hannah is giving up chocolate, too. We want popsicles instead!"
I've been thinking all week about this show of support between these sisters. There was nothing in it for Hannah to do this for Abby. It was a gift of pure love, motivated only by the desire to help her sister avoid a pitfall into temptation. It was a reminder to me of the importance of actively supporting those around me. Sometimes this might just mean giving up something that I don't necessarily need to give up. Sometimes it might mean forgoing my right to do something so that I don't cause someone else to stumble. Sometimes it might mean walking right next to someone, shouldering the burden, because alone, it would be too heavy for just one to carry.
Linking up with Michelle at Graceful for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. Come see what others are learning!