My son is starting kindergarten this September! Yikes! And because of this, I find a lot of my conversations with family, friends, neighbors and strangers tend to surround around this one question, “what school will he be going to”? Oddly enough this seems to be a hot button question. There really are only two school considered acceptable in the eyes of many parents in my community, so I know that when I answer that dreaded question it will be met with high brows and slow head shakes. They do not approve.
Really? It’s not like I’m living in the Bronx!
The school my son will be a part of will have a large percentage of low-income families. And you know what that means? ... they must all be drug addicts. I’m joking of course, because I don’t believe that. But sadly this is how many speak about such folk. And it grieves me greatly.
Last week I had a conversation with a Christian woman who has her child in my boy’s soon-to-be school. She went on to tell me how uncomfortable she was having her son go off to one of those families houses in a “basement suite” while “who knows what” is happening there. She told me that her and her husband live in an affluent area of town and have worked hard for what they have. It just didn’t seem fair to her that her child would have to rub shoulders with dysfunctional people.
I was stunned.
I can’t think of anything more dysfunctional than this “Christian” ladies view of herself and others. Having little money does not equal laziness, and living in a basement suite does not make anyone troubled.
Trust me when I say that I am well aware that there are some sketchy activities happening in some of these kids homes. And the thought and reality of that makes my heart hurt. I hate that some of these kids are coming to school with empty bellies and then going back to broken homes. I know it is happening. And I hope that I will be involved enough in my childs educational experience to notice if truly bad influences are becoming serious. And if things like severe bullying or harm comes my sons way, you better believe I will find a new school for him. But I can’t hide my kids from the sinful realities of this world forever. They will learn that every one of us, rich or poor, is depraved and in need of purifying grace.
However there is a greater problem happening here. We as Christians have a spiritual obligation to the lowly. No matter how uncomfortable that makes us. The second we start turning our noses up at low-income families, or even families with dysfunction due to drugs, divorce or whatever else, we start aligning ourselves with the pharisee’s.
Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them. ~ Luke 15:1-2
Jesus loved to shatter the status quo.
Yesterday a friend had a fantastic insight for me on this topic. Her kids go to one of the “good” schools in town and she let me know how many problems run in that school. Kids usually have two working parents and have been raised by child care aids for years. Many of them spend loads of time with media and most have entitlement issues. Bullying is present and so is broken homes.
Truth is, there are problems everywhere. And all I can do is watch closely no matter what school my kids are in. But regardless my kids will mess up and they will sin. And so will yours.
And as their mother I will be relentless in prayer that the Lord will break my kids and then save them.