A joy shared is a joy multiplied. And a sorrow shared is a sorrow divided.
Each time our Children’s Chapel meets, we drop glass beads in a bowl of water, sharing the joys and sorrows of our lives. Last month we acted out the quote above, joy a balloon we puffed more air into; sorrow a hunk of playdoh, broken into more manageable chunks.
Sweet serendipity–the full congregation sang Lean On Me that day, as our chapel focused on the people we turn to in times of celebration and sadness, in our triumphs and our struggles.
I asked the children to use their fingers to list these support people – literally, who can they count on? They named family members, of course, and friends, people at school and at church, and their pets who listen so attentively. We took some time to consider how we thank them for their help, support them when we can (this looks different when you’re five years old), and remember to share the good times, too.
As we left the worship circle and moved to our art station, each child traced their hand and labeled each finger – one creative soul even drew portraits on each fingerprint.
A few children mentioned that they had so many people that they needed more than one hand – and they might even need to count their toes, too! One creative drawing featured a hand with twelve fingers.
As adults we might spend more time thinking about all the people who depend on us, but regardless of our age or station, we all need support networks.
I urge you to do this little exercise (hand-tracing optional) – take a few minutes to sit in silence and consider- who are your cheerleaders? Who can you call on when you need someone to listen, to help out, to remind you that you are loved? Who’s in your Justice League?
Katy Carpman, Director of Religious Education