She Needed a Hug
When a teacher calls you over to talk about your son, it's not surprising that a wave of "oh, no" comes over you – especially when your son is the kind of person who loves to make people laugh, even in class. My son is one of those people. If he notices heaviness in the room, he will do just about anything to lighten the mood. We had been working with him to understand that there are appropriate times and places to do this, but sometimes he still struggled with it. So when his teacher called me over after a field trip one day, I got that sinking feeling.
Every Christmas season, our Christian school takes different classes of kids to sing at the nursing homes in our area. This year, my son Jesse's class was going to visit with the residents. A smaller group was going to see the Alzheimer's patients. Jesse had been hand-selected to go into this locked unit.
When the teacher called me over to discuss Jesse's actions after the nursing home visit, I simply didn't know what to think. My father-in-law, who had dementia, lived with us for a while, and I knew that Jesse understood what these people were going through, and how upset they could get if there was a commotion. But I also knew that he might try to help his friends feel happier if they were getting uncomfortable at the nursing home.
The teacher told me that as the children were passing one door, they noticed a little lady sitting on her bed, watching them pass. Jesse saw her and, without asking, went into her room and gave her a hug. She started to softly cry, as did the teacher and several of the students. Seeing their tears, my tenderhearted son came out looking like a whipped puppy and asking if he did something wrong.
The teacher simply asked, "What made you go in there?"
"She looked like she needed a hug," he responded. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make her cry."
Thankfully, the teacher wrapped her arms around Jesse and told him the truth.
"Jesse, your arms were the arms of Jesus today. She obviously needed that hug. Thank you for loving her the way He loves her."
A Holy Ground Moment
I was driving to work and listening to a Christian radio station when the song "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" came on. I have no idea what came over me. As soon as this praise song began, I felt tears running down my face. There I was, almost at work, and I could hardly see to drive because of a song. What was going on? I sat in my car after I arrived at work, trying to figure it out.
Then it struck me. The song reminded me that while another day of normal activity was beginning here on earth, friends and relatives were fulfilling the hope of that song in heaven. I pictured them brightly singing of God's love, getting a head start on the rest of us in that forever song. It was a bittersweet moment of understanding their joy while being reminded again of my sadness in not having them with me.
Much of life is like that. Joys and sorrows intermingle, making reminders of God's glory so vital. In the sadness of life, we need the anticipation of joy, the joy that comes from singing of God's love and enjoying His presence forever.