One sunny day at Camp Grace, our fearless leader, let’s call him Pastor Steed, was busying himself with the business of the day. It was right in the middle of his morning game of Ticket to Ride that he heard it, a knock on the door that held a familiar insistence. This insistence could only mean one thing: discipline problems. Pastor Steed knew that since the problem had made it this far up the chain, it had to be serious. With a loud sigh, he went outside to deal with the boy, let’s call him Los.
Los was smaller than Pastor Steed anticipated, with deep brown eyes and sullen scowl on his face. The counselor in charge explained that Los was being insolent and fighting over everything, unwilling to listen, obey, or to participate in any activities. Los kept his face screwed into a scowl, with his arms crossed tightly across his small chest, throughout Pastor Steed’s talk with him about respect, obedience and so on and so forth. Finally, in exasperation, Pastor Steed told Los how rude it was to refuse to respond when adults were addressing them. Los shook his head slightly and uncrossed his arms. Pastor Steed felt a glimmer of hope and triumph; clearly he had broken through to this little boy.
“What do you have to say right now, Los?” Pastor Steed gently yet firmly prompted the young boy.
Los responded, with a look of obvious disgust: “Um, when is the last time you brushed your teeth?”
It is tender, sweet moments like this that make all of our hard work worthwhile.