Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Wow! (03/11/10)
TITLE: A Welcome Distraction
By Dana McReynolds
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I noticed the family as they took their place in the row in front of me. It was hard not to look as they had to crawl over the people planted in their aisle seats. At first glance it was a boy, a girl and a lady that I assumed was their mother. Just as I was turning my focus back to the music, I gave the little girl a smile. She returned the slightest hint of a grin but the look of shame that passed over her face was far more powerful. It wasn’t long before I learned the source of her embarrassment.
After a few minutes it was evident that the boy suffered from some kind of tic disorder. His involuntary movements and sounds got progressively worse during the service. Was I distracted? Absolutely, but it had nothing to do with a few random sounds or movements. I was more than distracted; I was wowed by his mother.
During the service, reactions to the boy varied from nervous glances to outright dirty looks. I was mortified by the audacity of one lady and her sighs and stares. But once again the mother left me in awe. She did not feel the need to give apologetic smiles to those around her. There was no hint of shame or annoyance in her countenance. She simply comforted and reassured her son when he seemed to be ready to lose control.
It was while the mother was hugging her son that I noticed the bare ring finger on her left hand. I knew nothing about her situation but it appeared that she was not married. This, compounded with everything else I observed, left me amazed.
In our society, excuses for not attending church abound. Some people may agree that this mother would have a valid one. Her son could not sit still and perhaps would be a distraction to others. He would without a doubt be picked on in children’s church or Sunday school. They could have just stayed home and watched a good television evangelist, right? That would have been a much easier but less beneficial route to take. Because of her courage and love, this mother showed her son that he had a rightful place in the world as well as the kingdom of God. And she showed me a thing or two about unconditional love.
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