Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW (05/02/19)
TITLE: Heart Harvest
By Robin Newberger
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All checked in, I grab my visitor’s sticker with a bright-red apple on it and find our group under the flagpole. Our small band of five huddles outside the gate to the kindergarten area, praying for the hearts of these little ones and thanking God for the opportunity to be His hands and feet to “the least of these.” Closing with a hearty “amen,” it’s time to have fun. It’s time to sow seeds, all different kinds of them.
Instantly upon entering the gate, I smile at the sweet scene. Just ahead at the end of a short path of stepping stones, kindergarten children are seated at wooden lunch tables shaded by a sprawling majestic oak tree. All eyes on us, they see us coming. A group of boys sitting together at a table blurt out greetings at us in unison, all talking over each other the way five-year-olds do. I’m struck by how different each child is in appearance and personality. Some small for their age and some not. Some freckle-faced, and a few with skin like alabaster. Some bold, others shy; the talkers and the listeners. Each one of them possess the vivid, clear eyes of a child, all sharing the same beautiful innocence.
Phillip wastes no time in joining the boys. He is instantly engaging with his zany sense of humor and outgoing personality, and they adore him. Pastor Gavin takes up his usual post at the fence for a rousing game of ball throwing, surrounded by a large group of boys. Retha moves with an easy grace around the tables, helping children open milk cartons, tossing empties, quick to serve. Joey, our youth pastor, rides past me on the back of a too-small tricycle, the child driver beaming ear to ear. Seeds of kindness scatter all around me.
Across the playground, Iris sees me. She prides herself on her excellent running skills and is eager to show them off. She runs at me at full speed, stopping within an inch of me, making sure she has my full attention.
“Look how fast I can run!”
She turns on a dime and hotfoots it in the other direction, fast and focused, arms out at her side like wings. She plops back down at her place on the bench, her impressive demonstration concluded.
I spot my little friend, Emma, a doe-eyed girl with dark-brown hair. She sees me, her face lighting up with glee, and my heart felt the warmth of it. The first time I met her, she wore sequined cat ears on her head. She instantly became my favorite. Joining her and her friend, we sat at the lunch table talking about important things like unicorns and mermaids and the color pink. Then a game of tag and two rounds of hide-and-seek. As we played, I gently tossed the seeds of love and kindness like a prayer, watching them scatter and rest upon the children. The bell chimed signaling the end of recess.
It was time to line up and return to their classrooms.
As I turned to say goodbye, Emma hugged me and said, “You’re my favorite person.”
My heart fluttered at her sincerity. Weeks of sowing, I am now reaping. Here was an unexpected harvest, not one I can see with my eyes, but one that I feel in my soul, the kind words of a child -- heart words. Scattering a few seeds of time, love, and energy, I have received back infinitely more. What a bounty!
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