A recent birthday card amused me but also made me consider something important. On the card were three dogs. The caption by the first read, ‘I help my blind friend navigate the city’. By the second dog the caption read, ‘I make sure the airport is safe’. The caption by the third dog read, ‘I eat shoes’.
I realised that since being furloughed from my children and family post I felt a bit like the shoe eating dog! I wasn’t doing anything thing useful or worthwhile. That’s not true, of course. I can pray for families and I can bake for the school where I am usually chaplain. But even then, it’s not about the doing. I’m sure the ‘shoe eating dog’ is much loved by her family. We are much loved by God, whatever we perceive we are usefully able to do or not do at the moment.
Children and family ministry is looking very different for everyone these days and we thought it might be encouraging for us all to hear a few stories from around the UK from people who are finding different ways of continuing to build relationships with and nurture families in their churches and communities. Let’s remember that we’re all learning together – there’s no right or wrong way to do this and everyone’s situation is different. Most of all, no-one should feel guilty that they’re not doing what other people appear to be doing.
So let’s continue to encourage one another. I start this series by talking to Hannah Batchelor of the Living Stones Educational Trust.