Cricket Swarm

Leadership in a co-op can be stressful. Though I was concerned about teaching this semester, I decided to teach a class of six- to eight-year-old children. I teach first hour, and it feels like the perfect time because the tender hearts of these children leave me better prepared to deal with some of the crazy things that happen in our co-op.

On a recent cool, sunny morning in late September, I arrived early, with great plans to get into my classroom ahead of schedule. When I arrived, however, I noticed a terrible blackness all over the walls of the church. The church was engulfed in a swarm of crickets!

My best laid plans were quickly changed as discussions of canceling school began. In the end, we decided to get busy with vacuum cleaners, brooms, and disinfectant to remove the crickets and clean the tables. I worked quickly and arrived at my classroom of sweet students with only three minutes to get ready to teach!

A Gentle Prayer

I hastily pulled out my materials and gave my substitute helper a brief rundown of what I needed from her. Then, I turned to my students. I always let one of them open in prayer and one earnest little boy volunteered. He thanked God for protecting us and bringing us safely to co-op. My heart melted as he calmly and gently prayed.

I felt renewed after the prayer, able to face the cricket stress head on. We discussed how the crickets were much better than other possible invaders. A little girl exclaimed, “It could have been yucky lizards!” One boy pointed out that we could have been surrounded by spiders or scorpions! Suddenly, crickets didn’t seem so bad.

I drew a deep breath and enjoyed a wonderful class, truly refreshed by those sweet, young students.

Sweeping Away the Stress

I left the class and swept joyfully. Throughout the day, I shared the story of sweet students who offered grateful prayers even in the midst of plague-like circumstances; students who saw that these pests could have been worse.

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4 ESV)

We can be thankful even in less than favorable circumstances.

Thank you, Father, for the perspective of the children we work so hard for! Help me to continually remember that even when our world feels like it’s crawling with predators, you are ever-present and protecting us from even worse dangers.

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