Monday, September 25, 2006

Yesterday at church the Lord gave me a very special gift.

You see, we've had the opportunity to bring young people (2yrs-15yrs) to one of the corps here for youth church every Sunday morning. Yesterday we arrived a bit early, and the kids got to play outside on the practically brand new superduper playground next to building. This was a really big deal, because in our neighborhood, there are no parks, no climbers, no swings or anywhere that's designed just for kids to play safely.

ANYways, the most popular playground piece was the monkeybar climber, and there was a long line of kids wating for their turn to swing from rung to rung. It's fun to watch each one maneouvre across, but the blessing was in Geoffrey. He started at the far end, but, obviously only a novice to monkeybar climber immediately committed monkeybar climber suicide - he stopped on his second rung in and just hung there. Now, anyone who has ever attempted this gymnastic feat KNOWS that as soon as you stop, all the strength seeps from your arms, your body feels like it weighs a ton and your hands get all sweaty and threaten to let go. The probability of starting up again from that point and completing the event sways devastatingly low. Geoffrey hung in the balance.
All of his peers were watching him, ready to judge his coolness and acceptance based on this performance.

His face fell.

Then, someone from the crowd yelled out

"c'mon Geoffrey! You can do it!"
Others followed with similar cheers, and before I knew it, Geoffrey, buoyed by the cries from his friends kicked back into gear. He made it two rings further when his endurance began to flag. His inital standstill had taken its toll and his face showed the strain and the anguish. Travis came up behind him and began to speak words of confidence and perspective
"You're almost there! You're so close, keep going Geoffrey!"
His face was actually contorted now. Travis had two arms around his legs absorbing some of his body weight, sharing his burden in order that he might attain his goal. The crowd was absolutely frenetic at this point - was he going to make it? Would he give up and let go?

He didn't let go. He made it. There was wild laughter, and much rejoicing as Geoffrey's cheerleaders celebrated his victory.
As for Geoffrey, the face that had worn discouragement, dejection, exertion and hopefullness all within two minutes now shone with euphoria. You would've thought he'd won the lottery - or better yet, a gold medal the way he was beaming. He had done it. He had made it across the monkey bars. All was right with the world in that perfect moment.

As for me? I was overcome by it all. I wept with joy, because Geoffrey had made it to the end. He had a drive to succeed and desire to win, but realized pretty quick that he couldn't do it on his own strength or will alone. To achieve his goal, he relied heavily on the encouragement of others, the wisdom of those who had a greater perspective than him, and the strength and presence of one who could lift him up and whom he could depend on, even if he couldn't see him.

Is there a moral to this story? I believe there is...


winning the world for jesus said...

great story :D

!Relle said...

Man!...sister you are so making a difference in the lives of these kids!...keep loving with all you have and even more...the impact of the next generation coming out of charlotte north carolina is gonna be amazing!