In the early eighties, our family was the only brown family in our church among all white people. We were new to Christianity learning step by step. Preparations were under way for Christmas shows.

At home, I helped my children to practice the play. My younger son was very enthusiastic and practiced his role. In my opinion, he was fantastic. My elder son didn’t like the idea of participating in the play. As a parent, I wanted to encourage him as I thought, it would help him to develop his abilities and give him courage to speak in front of an audience.

In the end, neither of my children wanted to participate. The younger had been enthusiastic but was influenced negatively by the older son. I tried to encourage him. But before I could say a second word, Laura, the organizer (pseudonym) got angry with me emphasizing that I don’t need to say anything if the children don’t want to participate. She forbade me from encouraging my children. I found the host so rude with me that I had tears in my eyes, and I left her home. She didn’t try to persuade me to stay or say any polite words to rectify my hurt feelings. I was in tears so that I could not make eye contact with her. I looked down, tried to hide my face and went home.  She didn’t say anything.

Sunday after Sunday, I went to the church, but Laura did not speak to me.  Then Christmas came. I saw all the children participating in the play, except mine. But nobody including pastors asked any question as to why my children were not there on the stage! It felt like nobody cared. If somebody had asked me such questions, I would have found an opportunity to open up a conversation. And, probably, there would have been some solution. But I don’t think, anybody ever cared, not even the pastors nor any Sunday school teacher or anybody at all!

Laura was in charge of the children’s show every year, so I could not get my one enthusiastic son to participate in that church. Every day, I enjoy the beautiful worship in my church. But, every Christmas, I didn’t feel like going to the church. Every Christmas, I see all other children participating on the stage and I didn’t see my children there, and it brought tears in my eyes. Christmas was one time in my life that I didn’t want to attend the church. My children are now grown up. Unfortunately, that discouragement from Laura has lingered on, specifically in the church for my younger son. I pray that someday it will disappear.

On the other hand, in secular school if some children don’t want to participate, the teacher would usually contact the parents to find out why our children don’t participate and find some remedy how they can help to encourage them.  I enjoyed going to their school and see both of my children participating in school play along with other kids. Thank you, Jesus for the secular schools who cares for each student to participate.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  (Hebrews 10:24)

NOTE: Do you have a story of how you were hurt because you were different? I will let you know if editing is needed. Send to  .  

This has been Part 15 of the series, A Voice of One Calling. Read Part 16 – Terry Fox