Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Innocence Of Abigail

Too bad we aren't as innocent as little ones! This is from February 24, 2013.
I can't believe we are in the seventh month of school already and almost to the eighth! Each year goes faster than the one before and the days run together. But I do remember very vividly something that happened the very first day of the 2012-2013 school year. I saw a young lady in the hallway in her brand new uniform with her brand new first grade class and classmates. I greeted her and with a huge smile, she replied, "Hi, Steve!" I bent down and whispered to Abigail that at school , she needs to call me Mr. Hawley or Coach Hawley. I saw the confusion on her face immediately. This would be a good place for me to stop and explain a few things.

You see, it was not only the first day of school, it was Abigail's first day at Westbury Christian BUT it was not her first time being around me. Abigail is part of our Chinese church of which I also am a part. Her folks, Tony and Tania, are wonderful Christians and as you might guess, from China. Abigail is bright and engaging and sweet and a responsible older sister. In our worship and fellowships, guess what everyone calls me? You guessed it- Steve. So it was only natural that on the first day of school and on the same location as our church building that when Abigail spotted me in the hall, she should address me with, "Hi, Steve!" Factor in her age, six at the time, and it would be hard to fathom any other logical outcome. Her folks sat down with Abigail and explained the situation and she pretty much has it solved. The best I can make a practical application is that it's kind of like a Bruce Wayne/Batman identity dilemma. With her now familiar classmates, Abigail came up to my classroom last Thursday to watch a DVD on poor children and receive her bank bottle to collect pennies for orphans in Honduras and Haiti. As she exited, Abigail gave me a big hug, the first day of school just a distant memory. Well,  a distant memory for one of us.

I've mentioned before that there are old hymns I wish we would still sing. One of them is Savior, Teach Me, penned by Jane Leeson in 1842:

Savior, teach me day by day
Love’s sweet lesson to obey,
Sweeter lesson cannot be,
Loving Him Who first loved me.

With a childlike heart of love
At Thy bidding may I move,
Prompt to serve and follow Thee,
Loving Him Who first loved me.

Teach me all Thy steps to trace,
Strong to follow in Thy grace,
Learning how to love from Thee,
Loving Him Who first loved me.

Love in loving finds employ,
In obedience all her joy;
Ever new that joy will be,
Loving Him Who first loved me.

That is how Abigail is being raised by her parents. It's obvious Tony and Tania are teaching her about Jesus day by day, as in the words of Ms. Leeson. No child is going to pick it up all at once. It's a life long process. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children but our maturity level in spiritual matters, and non spiritual matters, needs to keep ascending along with our age. I would guess that in five years, Abigail will not remember calling me by my first name and if she does, will be tickled by the thought. Paul told us the time will come to put childish ways behind us. Maybe someday, Abigail will go back to calling me Steve. When that time comes, she won't be a child anymore.

Applicable quote of the day:
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

No comments: