Pathways through Lent

A Lesson in Sharing

Psalm 132:1-7
Exodus 24:1-8
2 Timothy 2:10-15,19
Matthew 13:47-52

Last October, my wife, Joanne, and I traveled to South Africa with the St. John’s group to visit the Kwasa Centre. We helped out as best we could in the classrooms and at meal times, working with children who were having a hard time with their studies or projects. During recess, some of us went out on the playing field and joined groups of pre-teen boys kicking soccer balls or even playing Frisbee.

Several times I found myself in a circle of kids, kicking a ball across the circle to another child. Not all boys were equally coordinated, and some, with a rush of enthusiasm, approached the ball with a mighty swipe and missed completely or gave it such a glancing blow that it went sideways to the next child. Invariably and entirely unprompted, that boy would send it softly back to the original kicker to have another go at it. I was stunned. When I was growing up, if I got the ball, I was expected to run with it. So I was looking for the boy on the side to trap it and send a strong kick across the circle, proving his own skill, and yet every time, the ball was sent back to the one who had made a mistake so he could try again.

These children in a Christian school had been taught to support their neighbors. As we examine our own often preoccupied and self-centered lives during Lent, when do we have the chance to pass the ball back?  And if we’re given that chance, will we do so?

– Powell Hutton

March 22 - soccer

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3 thoughts on “A Lesson in Sharing”

  1. My daughter and I had similar experiences while at schools in Cape Town, South Africa, traveling with People to People. Always, the children gathered around us filled with smiles and sharing. Always, they shared our small gifts of pencils and such with each other. I am reminded that daily we have opportunities to share with each other in our own community. Your Lent meditation reminds me that I need to be more mindful. Thank you.

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