Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
- TITLE: Pumped, Deflated and Growing
By Virgil Youngblood
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“Hi! Guys” Cricket said, her blue eyes sparkling as she angled toward my wife and me. Her smile lit up the church foyer as she gave us a quick hug. “I hoped I would see you after church and here you are. I want to ask you something.”
Cricket was a show stopping blonde in her late twenties and just a little younger than we were. She loved the Lord and served in several church ministry programs with great enthusiasm. It would be hard to tell Cricket no to anything she asked.
“Next week” she said, “I will be taking Christmas to the boys at the state home. Would you like to go and help pass out presents?”
Wow! Christmas and kids and Cricket – sign me up.
“We would love to” my wife replied.
Cricket told us where and when to meet her and said she would take care of everything else. With a quick hug, a warm smile and a “Thanks, guys!” she disappeared through the sanctuary doors.
The following week was an emotional high of anticipation. Warm and fuzzy feelings of doing something good and worthwhile abounded. If you can’t get excited about giving Christmas gifts to kids, you’ve got a problem, and I didn’t have one. Little did I know what waited?
”Here we are” Cricket said, as we arrived at a door some distance down the hall from the entrance. We were carrying arm loads of gaily wrapped Christmas gifts. “Just be yourselves and let them know you love them.”
Cricket knocked and an attendant invited us in saying, “Hey, girl, you recruited some help? Come on in.”
Cricket pointed to a table and we placed our packages besides hers. She was being mobbed by men in their fifties and sixties that ran toward her with arms outstretched yelling Creeekiiiittt”. Boys mentally, having the minds of young children, they didn’t look right, talk right or act right. It was not the happy scene with little boys I had envisioned. Dot likewise was spooked. We were ready to be out of there.
Sanding back to back for mutual protection, highly discomforted by strange looking men desiring to be touched and hugged, we did the best we could. Cricket never looked more beautiful as she greeted each man with a hug and a smile and cheerful words. She made sure everyone was warmly welcomed.
Finally it was over. With great relief we exited into the hall. Cricket’s comfort level with these men and her obvious love for them was amazing beyond belief. God had not given us the ability to handle this situation well, or so it seemed. All of the air had gone out of our balloons. We had been placed in the balance and found wanting.
In the weeks that followed I often thought about these men. Surely their parents had great dreams for their future when they were born. How sad these parents must have been when their child’s condition was diagnosed.
And, I thought, how sad God must be when His children, those who have been born again as spiritual children, remain children spiritually? When, by choice, they stop growing and never become all He would have them to be.
What is my spiritual age? Far from spiritual maturity but still growing, I decided. With God’s help I pray my light may someday shine like Cricket’s.
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