A few weeks ago we said good-bye to “Mr. Chris.” He has been the associate pastor at Trinity Covenant Church, the host church for our preschool and is moving with his family to his native Australia. Every week the senior Pastor, “Pastor Chris” comes to read to us, but Mr. Chris has filled in ably with our two classes of preschoolers on occasion. The children love it when either Chris comes to visit.
Both groups made good-bye cards for Mr. Chris and everyone who could signed their names or made a drawing for him. One group made brownies for him and his family. And this process had a surprising side-effect.
On the day before his last day, Mr. Chris made a cameo appearance in the hallway outside his office. And when the Explorer Group saw him they spontaneously called down the hall to him “Good bye Mr. Chris, We’ll miss you, will you come back soon?” It was an outpouring of affection and kindness – and from the mouths of 4 and 5 year olds.
The brownies and cards were all for his benefit but, as one teacher mused, we did not think about how it benefited the children, helping them to process and understand this good-bye, and enabling them to bless this one who had been a blessing to them.