The jar is visibly seen amongst the piles of projects, papers, and books. The five year old children are busy playing with their dolls and tools. I peep my head in the door to see if their little eyes will catch a glimpse of my movement. One tiny step, two, three, and a GIANT leap as the kids scream, “SISTER SKITTLE MONSTER!!! GET HER!” Defeated again.
When the children at Saint Francis Day Care, where I am office manager, discovered my love for Skittles, it wasn’t long before I had a nickname amongst the Pre-K class. When I first began to snack on the candy amidst my duties of passing out notes to parents, the children were determined to let me know that the candy was theirs. Soon, it became quite a game as I would sneak into the room and swipe the jar open before being noticed. Like the Cookie Monster, I couldn’t resist getting my hand on the Skittles. The kids would swarm around me, demanding that I put the jar down. It wasn’t until I offered them each one (yellow, because it is my least favorite as they all came to the conclusion), that they changed their tone with me. The screaming of “Sister Skittle Monster” soon became “Sister Skittle Monster! Give me one!”
It is amazing what God will give us to overcome ourselves- our dislikes, our unwillingness to be open to His grace in the assignment appointed to us, our frustration with everyday situations. For some He sends a person who uplifts and encourages, for others it is a sign that he is with them and will never abandon them, for me it was the gift of Skittles. Loving and enjoying the company of children does not come naturally for me. I was fearful and worried that my new assignment at St. Francis Day Care would come as a challenge and that I wouldn’t be accepted by the staff, parents, or children because I might not have the personality or charisma for it. It was Skittles that opened my eyes and heart to the innocence and beauty of little children. It was the children telling their mothers and fathers about the terrible “Skittle Monster” that showed the parents a side of a Sister that they humored and enjoyed, but also the side of a Sister that is open, honest, and willing to take the time to talk and listen.
What else would I be for Halloween except the hungry “Sister Skittle Monster?” I can picture the children, 25 and 50 years later, eyeing a package of Skittles at the grocery store and saying aloud to the cashier, “You won’t believe a story I have for you…”