Monday, April 9, 2012

And a Little Child Will Lead Them

I have had a couple encounters with some children recently that confirm for me that God will speak to you though anyone at any time! The first of which was at my home church, First United Methodist Church of Cleveland. During the children's time, the leader asked, "What does it mean when you love someone?" About a six year old little girl responded with the following: "When you love somebody, it means you believe in them." What a remarkable and profound statement! Coincidentally (or not!) the lection for the day was John 3:14 - 21. It was truly moving to hear such a true statement come from a little child, who no doubt, made every adult in that room think!

The other instance was recent. As you may or may not know, Joni and I have started a fitness camp that we go to twice a week. Typically before we go workout, we meet at Joni's sister's house. This past Saturday, when we arrived, there were two kids (one boy, one girl) there who had spent the night with Joseph, our nephew. The little boy kept calling me something, but I could not make it out because he was mumbling it somewhat. My brother in law heard him and told me what he was calling me Uncle Strong. I have to be honest, I don't feel strong very often. More often than not, I feel very weak - both in terms of physicality and emotively. Joseph calls me Uncle Bubba as do his parents and grandparents. Why was this little boy calling me Uncle Strong? I have no idea! Strong and Bubba do not sound remotely similar. What I do know is that those words meant more to me than he will ever know. Today was a pretty rough workout. There were a couple of activities that had to be modified so I could do them and our trainer was more than happy to make those modifications, but those feelings of weakness crept up a bit and I was feeling a little discouraged. Then my brother in law, Kurt, shouted from across the driveway, "Way to go, Uncle Strong!" Just like that, my stinkin' thinkin' went away and I realized that modifications to exercises didn't mean I was weak, rather I needed an equal opportunity to get the same workout everyone else was getting!

I really appreciate how the Holy Spirit will use the unlikeliest situations to make us feel the awesome presence of God! I am also grateful to the spiritual formation class that I have been taking all year to help me be more aware of how God moves and works. God is definitely mysterious, but gives us just enough touch to know God is there! And for that I am thankful!