Last week I worked for my church’s VBS (Vacation Bible School) for the fourth time. I’ve been a teacher the last three years because that is where my gift has been, in teaching and connecting with kids. Initially, I didn’t want to deal with the stress and the exhaustion of VBS, however I felt like I wanted to help out last minute, and be able to connect with some of the youth who normally did not come to our church youth group. I was assigned senior kindergarten class, an age that I’m not so acquainted with.
I should have been ready for the amount of intimacy I would experience.
Let me share you a secret, I’ve never been in love before. I’ve never been in a romantic relationship with any girl, although I have liked many.
But, I have experienced love before, I feel it when my friends are around me and I can expose my true self to them. I can feel love when I spend hours talking with a friend on Skype or Gtalk at some unholy hour at night about what I’ve been wrestling with this week.
One aspect of love is the physical aspect of it, it’s the touching, feeling, cuddling, hugging. It was something I hadn’t experienced in a long time.
The kindergarten boys were different than the girls. I realized that they desired physical contact, touching of their round oval heads, their soft skin. I’m not talking about some type of perverted sense of touch, but they really desired to be touched, to be bear hugged, to be lifted up in the air with their feet dangling. It was important to them more so than words of affirmation.
I think that’s why aspect of love I sorely wanted and missed. The feeling of touching a physical person and object, the intimacy of feeling accepted and loved. It caught me by surprise, because it related to my own spirituality. As a Christian, I always wanted to imagine how it would feel to be hugged by God. I knew about the love of God, I heard about it, but I rarely ever felt the presence of God. God can use people to interact with us, but how great would it be to actually feel God’s love in a tangible way?
Furthermore, the children made me realize how much I wanted kids of my own one day. I’m at the age that I should be thinking about having kids, so of my friends have already married and had their first child. Some day I want a mini version of myself running around and pulling pranks on other kids. Last week was an experiment with parenting, and dreaming about being a father, the father that I always wanted.