Lunchtime Conversations

One of the fun things we get to do at Contact is go to Clinton West Elementary and hang out with the kids during lunch. Now, you don’t have to work at Contact to do that, and it doesn’t have to be Clinton West either, but we especially enjoy time there because we know a lot of the kids.

Today was my first time to go. Not just at Clinton West, which is new this year, but my first time since I’ve been at Contact. I never quite made it Remington last year, and I realized I was missing out! So I walked into the Cafeteria during the 5th grade lunch and invited myself to a table to meet some kids.

We had a good time at that table, talking about school and our upcoming Kids Night and pretending two of the kid’s names were Mike & Ike. When they left, I went to another table to say hi to one of the girls I haven’t seen in months, then she left and I went to the next table where we talked about our favorite foods and squids. At that table, which was 3rd grade, they told me I asked too many questions. They also wanted me to try to read their minds, so I did my best Psych or Carnac impression and failed miserably.

Once they left, I went to a table of 2nd grade kids. At that table, there were a couple of boys making some poor choices, and the little boy I sat down next to leaned in and told me in a hushed tone that those two were troublemakers. I said something like, “Oh, they make some bad choices, huh?” and he nodded his head.

Old photo of the cafeteria. You think I had a release for a picture of all those kids!?

Old photo of the cafeteria. You think I had a release for a picture of all those kids!?

I think they may have been making fun of my Chacos or something, which didn’t bother me, but it really bothered this little boy. He leaned in again and told me that they would cuss and do bad things when the teacher wasn’t looking. This presented an opportunity, which I jumped on.

I asked him if he was going to make bad choices just because they were. He said no, and I told him that is great and that I was proud of him and that Jesus loves it when we make good choices. Then I told him a secret. I told him that one day, those boys will get caught. Because anytime someone tries to hide something, they eventually get found out.

He looked at me, then nodded, then went back to eating lunch. I had a few more conversations at a few more tables after that, but that one sticks out the most, by far. And I think that’s true. In my own life, things I try to hide always eventually come out. I’m really not clever enough to hide from the truth, thank God.

I’m looking forward to following up with him next week. I hope he keeps making good choices, and I hope he gets to experience the difference between living with integrity and living in hiding.

For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. - Luke 8:17

- Jonathan