Carlos Martínez in a mime performance (self-photographed, Wikimedia Commons)
James’ disruptive skills at school, in church and at home were notorious. But underneath I sensed he needed affirmation.
We met. We talked about the role. He was the congregation’s darling that Sunday.
Maybe I was pushing my luck, but three months later, when I was invited to conduct a couple of out-of-town services, I asked if he could help again. “It’s going to be a long day”, I warned. “We drive an hour each way, and you have to sit through two church services! But I really need your help. Can you handle it?”
I told a friend at our first service that James was coming and would appreciate having someone sit with him. On the way I also told him about my friend.
Everything new! Strange setting! Long drive! Tense though James was, he pulled his part off like a veteran … and received kudos from everyone.
“Better go for a run”, I suggested before we got in the car. “One more service to go.”
Fortunately at the second church there was a woman who had been in nursing training with his mom. Wow! Neat!
Again James performed his part beautifully. But by the time we got ready for the drive home I could see he was wilted. He had his run to let off steam, then asked to stop at a gift shop we would be passing to get a card for his dad.
I promised an ice-cream treat for the both of us, and gave the reassurance that no one could have done better than he did.
From then till now he and I share a special friendship. It’s sometimes as simple as someone knowing you can be special!
We are reminded - God made each of us, and God doesn’t make junk!