“Hooray!” shouted Suzie, running down the hallway toward her bedroom. If she wanted to go with Grandma for the evening, her mother told her to change into clean clothes. Though Suzie didn’t know where they were going, she didn't care. One thing she knew, the two women argued for an hour as to whether or not Suzie could go. Age seemed to be an issue.
“Don’t forget a sweater Suzanna!” called her mother, nervously.
“I took my white one Mommy, okay?”
Suzie’s face looked like Christmas morning, until her mother spoke sharply to her grandmother. “Mom, you’d better keep an eye on her. I know how easily you get distracted. Don’t forget she’s with you.”
Grandma’s smile hinted that she was years younger than her matronly appearance. “Oh Jean, you worry too much. She’ll be fine. This will be a good experience for the child.”
Suzie hugged her mother goodbye, grasped Grandma’s hand, and off they went. They were two generations apart, with one heart. Suzie would soon discover her grandmother’s greatest gift, one beyond canning, cooking, or sewing.
Grandma parallel parked at the town’s square as Suzie pressed her nose against the car window. Having recently moved, this was her first trip into town. Several other adults were waiting for them. As they stood talking, Suzie’s senses rapidly absorbed the new sights, sounds, and smells.
Wow, Suzie thought. That big white thing must be what Grandma meant by the park’s gazebo. I love the little sparkly white lights. They look like stars. A real band, how do they get the instruments so shiny? The players’ jackets and hats are bright. This music reminds me of soap bubbles and popcorn.
Nine-year-old Suzie took it all in; cotton candy, people strolling with ice cream cones, park benches, colorful flowerbeds, teenagers laughing under the lampposts.
Why’d Mommy think I was too young to be here? Suzie couldn’t stop grinning.
The adults finished talking, opened small packages of papers, and walked away in pairs. Holding her grandmother’s hand, they too began walking. Susie didn’t know where they were going. Her mouth watering, she hoped to try one of those pink fluffy clouds on a cone. Suddenly she heard a familiar sound, her grandmother praying very quietly under her breath.
Oh no, what’s she doing?
Without warning, her grandmother approached a woman, handed her a piece of paper, and said something. Next, they walked up to a man and did the same thing. This time they stayed for a minute as Grandma explained what it was. To Suzie it sounded like Grandma said track, but the only tracks she knew of were for trains. Confused she hoped they were leaving soon. Instead, Grandma walked over to a young couple and offered the papers. This time she talked even longer.
Suzie worried that she might never taste any of the delightful treats she had seen and smelled. Carefully, she tried to see how many pieces of paper her grandmother had left. Her eyes rolled as she realized her grandmother had enough for everyone in the park.
Kicking stones, picking flowers, counting the stars, nothing made the time pass any faster. She regretted coming along. Suzie was bored and becoming embarrassed as she noticed people trying to avoid them, or laughing.
What’s Grandma doing anyway? She had no sooner finished her thought than Grandma bent down to talk to her.
“Suzie, you’re old enough to start sharing your faith in Jesus. I want you to give someone a tract.”
“But Grandma, I can’t. I'm not ready. I don’t know how.”
“All you do is hand it to them, smile, and say Jesus loves you.”
“But Grandma, what if they want to know what it is?”
“Then I’ll come and explain it to them. You won’t have to say anything.”
“But Grandma, I don’t know who to give it to.”
“Don’t worry; I’ll pick someone out for you. Over there, those two women.”
Suzie’s poor little body began to tremble, her eyes filled up with tears. In horror, she looked at her grandmother. “Nuns? You want me to give this to Nuns?”
“Why not?” her grandmother smiled.
Swallowing hard, breathing rapidly, Suzie shuffled toward the nuns. When they looked at her, she shoved the tract in their hands and ran to her grandmother.
“Oh Suzanna, I know adults that aren’t mature or bold enough to do that. I’m proud of you. Want some cotton-candy?”
“Hooray!” shouted Suzie, “first Grandma, give me one more tract.”
Editor's note: true story
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