Sunday, July 17, 2016

Living up to expectations

Carlos Martínez in a mime performance (self-photographed, Wikimedia Commons)

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - “Could you help tell the story next Sunday?” I asked 7-year old James. “It’s about a clown, and I need somebody to mime the part”.

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!

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