Wednesday, April 1, 2015

the little girl who brought me back to reality

It was day three of VBS. 250 kids and 16 adults were in the chapel. My row seemed to hold the most wiggly children, but maybe that is just what children do. "Sit" is a foreign word, even spoken in their language. If you say "Be quiet." they look at you like you're an alien. That's okay, though, except when you're in chapel. One girl got mad at her friend, and after hitting her she promptly sits next to me with a scowl on her face like I'm supposed to do something about it. Said friend starts complaining. Someone (or more than one) is rubbing my arm or pulling my hair. Four kids argued over who could sit next to me, and in the process they practically sat on top of each other. I had to smile at that one. And one little boy amused himself by pinching all the little girls in sight. I finally decided to ignore the chaos around me and dance and sing with the behaving kids. Not two minutes later another hand reaches my arm, pats for my attention, and continues to do so. Finally I look over and see a smiling face of a little girl telling me I'm her friend. My mind wanders off to yesterday morning…
I was making my rounds checking all the classes when I was stopped by the visiting nurse and a little girl, who appeared to be around eight years old. The girl had a head wound that the nurse wanted to clean out, but the nurse needed help communicating with her. I volunteered to give it a try since Mary Jane was otherwise occupied. I told the girl the nurse wanted to help her and she would clean her wound. The little girl looked up at me with her big brown eyes and gave me a quick nod okay. We went to the class where the supplies were and as the nurse cleaned the wound, I talked to the girl. Besides the fact that she had never been to school, I couldn’t understand what she said to me. I was, however, able to tell her that we loved her, that she was our friend, that we wanted to help her, that Jesus loves her, and that she is beautiful. Afterwards we went on our separate ways, and in the busy-ness of the day this incident got pushed to the back of my head until chapel the next morning, where I looked up at yet another child wanting my attention to see this little girl squeezing my hand and smiling at me. I had a new friend. She had a new friend.
My prayer is that she found the greater friend than I in that week, the One who sticks closer than a brother. It’s in moments like this that I am reminded why I do what I do, and why I want to do it for the rest of my life. I might not be able to love every child in the world, but Jesus can, and I can sow seeds wherever I go, bringing hope to the hopeless, joy to the joyless, and love to the forgotten.

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