Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Thaw

Every couple of months, I am called on to help serve communion for our congregation. This is one of those months. (One of our deacons, Larry Hale, who is in charge of the structural handling of the Lord's Supper, used to tell me I was to cover the 'north side, outside.' After awhile, he realized I have no sense of direction in Houston, so now he just points and says, 'You go over there!') Last Sunday, I preached at another congregation so I missed my turn. Two Sundays ago, as I was making sure the trays moved up and down the rows smoothly, Jackson waved at me. That may not seem like a big deal to you but it is to me. You see, six months ago, Jackson could not stand me. Neither could Evelyn, his sister or Wyatt, his brother. Why would all the siblings in one family despise me, a guy generally considered on the lovable side? I probably should put some perspective on the story. Jackson is five, Evelyn is seven, and my guess is that Wyatt is three although I am not positive. What is also true is that they are not aware of the connections between their family and me. Their grandparents helped me re-do my apartment and I coached their aunt in basketball. Beyond that, it is entirely possible they might not have even been born without some inadvertent intervention on my behalf which is another story. And, I preached their mom and dad's wedding to boot. But they are little and for the overwhelming majority of their lives, they acted like I was invisible. And as we worship together and the older ones were students at WCS, it was common for our paths to cross.

I can't tell you exactly when but one day, Evelyn came up to me at school and hugged me. Since then, she hugs me every time she sees me. Evelyn was even on my team at basketball camp this week and without fail, she brought cold water to me at breaks. Coinciding with Evelyn deciding I was OK, her brothers suddenly liked me, too. They are more the high five types but they also get into a triple threat stance on command, a sure sign of affection! (That's basketball lingo if you were unsure.) I transformed from being a pariah to an unrelated uncle with a different last name. I can live with that!

What brought about the change? Maybe Evelyn saw other little ones liked me or maybe it's just a step in the maturation process. Maybe her brothers follow her lead. But it was sudden and immediate and it seems permanent, as permanent as can be for that age youngsters. It was kind of like Saul on the road to Damascus! Well,  without the voice from heaven or the blinding light with the resulting blindness but outside of that, it was just the same. Little ones are a gift from God who put them in families with blessed parents/grandparents. It was a tough week for Evelyn and Jackson and Wyatt. Their great grandfather died last Sunday and the last seven days has seen a family trip to Tennessee for a funeral, which can be a confusing time for kids. But they are loved and they show love because they learn it at home....and because they are the children of God. And now they love me, too.

Applicable quote of the day, # 1:
"If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!"
  Dwight L. Moody

Applicable quote of the day, # 2:
"Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven."
  Henry Ward Beecher

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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