Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dr. Jim White

Jim White and I grew up together in York, Nebraska for several years as boys. His folks were associated with York College during that time frame. There are several other connections including his brother, Charles, coaching my brother, Dave, and his York High School teammates to the Nebraska State Class B Tennis Championship in Dave's senior year. Jim has worked at York College as well as Harding University during his professional career. Jim is now the minister for the Southwest Church of Christ in Omaha, Nebraska. Here are his thoughts.

It’s a pleasure for me to fill in for Steve while he’s on his mission trip. Steve and I go way back (probably further than either one of us want to remember), but our paths have seemed to cross at various times of our lives. Our backgrounds are so similar. Wonderful, sacrificing parents. Great family. Wonderful church family. Both of us have been so blessed. And it’s been good to reconnect with Steve over the last several years. So, thank you, Steve for allowing me these words.

I went to a concert the other night. Aaron Shust, a Christian singer, did a benefit concert honoring one of our young men who was killed in the tornado last year at Little Sioux Scout Ranch (That’s a blog for another day!). It was a wonderful evening with lots of people in attendance from all ages and walks of life. It was a wonderful meld of people from all across the spectrum. I happened to be sitting behind a couple members from our church with three of their kids and a little girl of about 8 or 9 years of age. I love watching people, but this night I was concentrating on the concert. And by the way, Aaron Shust has a new album coming out soon. Go on-line and buy it. (I didn’t even get paid to say that!) But as I listened to Aaron sing, out of the corner of my eye I saw some movement. Okay, I know how little kids can get restless in these concerts so I just continued on enjoying the music. The movement continued. It was the little girl in front of me and she was flailing. I don’t think that’s a bad word here. Her arms were flailing in the air, but she wasn’t looking at stage where Aaron was performing. She was looking to the side. I followed the path of her eyesight and just over to our left were two ladies who were translating the concert for the deaf. I have to admit, I watched them and their beautiful movements as they turned the words of the songs into beautiful, graceful, and heartfelt movements of the hands. Nothing at all like the little girl in front of me.

Now what was my reaction? I’m sure there may have been some who would have said, “I wish someone would stop that little girl from such a commotion!” Others may have seen what she was trying to do and criticize her lack of accuracy. Still others may have just ignored her. Not me, I couldn’t help but watch with great interest. She was so intent on making the same movements. Here’s the verse that went through my mind as I watched this little girl intently and sincerely try to mimic the actions of interpreters. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16 My mind started to wander and wonder. I thought, “I wonder if one day, she’ll remember this experience and learn to interpret for those who cannot hear.” I thought about her future. About her life. About what she would one day turn out to be. And I wondered if this moment would be one that she would remember. So instead of frowning and shushing her. Instead of encouraging her to “BE STILL!”, I smiled at her. And you know what? I think God did, too.

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