This week I was invited by my granddaughter to participate in an event called “Lunch with a Loved One”. I was excited to be the one she invited but also thought this was something I could do that would be simple to let her know how important she is to us. The day before my wife forwarded the email from the school about this event. As I read through the email I thought: outside? Bring your own chairs? Bring your child lunch? (Not really a surprise). What the heck? This is work, not easy, but for her sake I will participate and do my best. Friday morning came and I got up out of bed never realizing that today was going to be lesson from a little 10 year old. I gathered the chairs together and put them in my SUV, got on the Chick-Fil-a app and ordered her lunch. It is now 10am and lunch is at 10:45. Checking out of the app I was told we are sorry this is a lunch item, they are now serving breakfast. Oh no, what will I do? Luckily Chick-Fil-a is all about service; I checked out and was told I could continue, but it would take longer. Whew! Disaster avoided thanks to Chick-Fil-A. I picked up her food, which by the way only took a few minutes and I was on my way to “Lunch with a Loved One”.
I arrived at the school early which is how I like it. I am a musician and I learned early on that if you are on time, you are late. I saw the parents gathering at the front door waiting to enter the school before going to the playground. I sat pondering how I was to carry lunch with two drinks and three chairs. I did not mention my granddaughter asked me to bring an extra chair for a friend whose parents could not attend. Of course I said, yes. After checking my phone for messages and emails I looked and saw the parents had left the front entrance and started walking to the playground. What??? I jumped and gathered my paraphernalia and started off. I wanted to get the perfect place. As I entered the playground, I noticed it was wet grass, pebbles on the ground and huge rocks scattered through the playground with small saplings spotted throughout that made Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree look boisterous and huge. I picked one with at least five limbs and contemplated how to arrange the chairs; in a circle, half-circle, in a line or maybe two together and me across from them so I can impart knowledge. I finally decided on a circle then we all could talk and have meaningful conversations. This was gonna be great. I would tell them the best way to approach school and impress upon them to make good grades and be diligent. Okay, that was a little over the top, but I do think about those things.
So now all I had to do was wait for my little pumpkin and her friend to arrive. The first group arrived but no Kensleigh. Second, third arrived still no Kensleigh. Had I gotten the time wrong? Or the wrong place? Patiently I waited while looking around to see if anyone else was missing a little person. At long last she arrived, but with no friend. Madison’s parents had worked it out after all and was not joining us. That was ok because I would have more time with Kens. Little did I know my little socialite had other plans. Upon arrival Kens wanted to go and eat with her friends and connect. I did not want to disturb their family time with our intrusion so I convinced her to eat and then she could go visit them. Then sitting and eating finally commenced. We had small talk about her day and the schedule of the day. Nothing earth shattering to say the least, I was there and that was all that mattered.
After we finished, she popped up and said ok, I want you to meet my friends and their parents. Oh boy, I thought. I guess I had better psyche myself up. You see, I’m an introvert. Most people think the opposite, but I have had to adapt to meeting people since I am in the ministry. Meeting new people is hard for me and takes work. She then informs me that we are going to skip to see everyone. What? Skip? Oh, I have not done that since a kid. No one wants to see a 57 year old skip. But I conceded to skip because her eyes said it all. And speaking of eyes, all eyes are on us as she happily displays her joy to everyone around; behind her is a hippo trying to stay in balance without my stomach reaching up to hit my face. I can see the headline: MINISTER DIED SKIPPING WITH GRANDDAUGHTER. I kid, it was not bad as I portray, but I felt like an idiot. We proceeded to go around and see her friends and their parents who had nothing but good to say about Kensleigh. We took lots of pictures and even had the kids record a short film or two on the playground. Kens was excited to share her “Daddy” or “Papa” with everyone she knew. It was precious and I would not change it for the world. She wanted everyone to know her Daddy.
So, why am I telling you this story? Because as I began to ponder about the activities of that day, I realized that Kensleigh was showing me Jesus. Oh, she had no idea but she did all the same. You see Jesus came to earth purely to tell others about his Daddy. He wanted them to know him on a personal level. He was excited to share him with others in hopes they would see the beautiful, kind, caring and giving God that He is. As I thought about all the excitement of the day I asked a couple of questions: am I as excited as Jesus was to tell others about Him? Do I take every opportunity to lead a life that points totally to Him? Do I skip through life no matter the circumstances and allow Him to work through me telling others of the caring God God does not desire us to be perfect, he just wants us to be excited that we are His. He wants us to share Him with all our friends and their friends and their families. Kensleigh did not announce to the crowd that her Daddy had come to visit and come meet him. No, she merely introduced me to them and then I did the rest with my funny, witty and sometimes stupid humor. That is all she wanted and that is all God wants. Just introduce Him and he will do the rest. He does not need help, He is awesome all by himself.
So, lesson learned from a 10 year old socialite girl that reminded an old man that God wants us to be excited about our relationship. He wants us to be proud and share Him with others. Thank you Kensleigh, someday I need to remember to tell you this story and thank you.