Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: That's What it's all About
By Marita Thelander
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Two years ago I took my daughter, Lizzie, and four of her little friends to Skate Palace for her seventh birthday. Me on roller-skates, not a good mental image. Let me tell you, Grace is <i>no</i>t my middle name.
I spent most of the time at the table. Dubbed the official guardian of the “stuff”, I preferred to plant my seat firmly on the round cafeteria style stool as opposed to the floor of the rink. When I did venture onto the skating rink I chose to hug the wall while Lizzie and her cute little show-off friends giggled past me.
The pimply-faced DJ announced, “It’s time to do the Hokey-Pokey.”
I popped a cheese-dipped bite of pretzel in my mouth when Lizzie rolled up and grabbed my hand, “Come on, Mommy. Let’s do the Hokey-Pokey.”
“Oh, I don’t think so, Baby-cakes. There’s a lot of hokey in me and yes I’m a bit pokey, but I don’t put those two words together anymore.”
“Come on,” five little pairs of eyes pleaded. “We’ll help you.”
Things began pretty safe. I put my right hand in, and took my right hand out. I proceeded to shake it all about while I did the Hokey-Pokey and I turned myself about. The hands were easy. When I had to stick my right foot in, that’s when things got out of control.
Lizzie didn’t have that right vs. left thing figured out quite yet. She stuck her left foot in instead of her right. Her left skate somehow slid under my right wheels. She took off to turn herself about and my right foot went with her.
I desperately flailed my arms to keep my balance and somehow landed in a pretzel-like contorted heap minus the cheese sauce. The sickening sound of my right humerus-bone when it snapped stopped everyone cold in their pokey. It was anything but humorous.
Tiffany’s mom arrived to get the girls and I took a little ride in an ambulance. The next few hours were a painful blur and resulted in a full armed cast that would prevent me from shaving my armpits for six weeks.
Lizzie spent the night with Tiffany and asked if she could go to Sunday school in the morning. Since the pain meds made me drowsy, I decided that would be a good plan.
The next afternoon Lizzie burst through the door. “I asked the Sunday school teacher to pray for you, Mommy. Do you feel better?”
I didn’t believe prayer made any difference, but I certainly didn’t want to squash her sweet efforts. I did what I thought every good-intentioned mother does. I lied.
“I think I do. Your smile always makes me feel better.”
“But Mommy, Miss Teri said Jesus can make you better.”
Lizzie began to talk in rapid fire phrases; Miss Teri this, Miss Teri that. A knock on the door interrupted Lizzie just when I was sure she would say that Miss Teri could walk on water.
Lizzie flung the door open and announced, “Miss Teri’s here.”
I knew I shouldn’t have let her go to Sunday school. Now the religious nuts would never leave me alone.
“Miss Teri brought food, Mommy.”
Not only did Teri bring food, but she dished it up for Lizzie at the table. Then, like she had known me for years, this young stranger pulled a footstool over and proceeded to feed me.
Teri came by everyday that week. She either brought food, or made meals from my own cupboards. She cleaned my home. She bathed my daughter. She even washed my hair and styled it.
She never once pushed her religion on me until I asked her, “Why are you doing all this? Is it because you want me to let Lizzie go to church?”
Teri’s simple answer caught me off guard. “I have no hidden agenda. This is simply what I do. God shows me a need, and I fill it.”
Teri became a sermon walking. I absorbed the joy she radiated. One question at a time, one day at a time, Teri led me to the foot of the cross and enabled me to make an informed decision regarding the condition of my heart.
Thanks to Lizzie’s prayers, Jesus did make me better.
You see, the Hokey-Pokey saved my life. And that’s what it’s all about.
Now the chicken dance, that’s a whole ‘nother story.
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