It was embarrassing...
The other day I had quite an embarrassing moment. I won’t go as far as to say it was my most embarrassing moment but it was awkward nonetheless. There was a team of about fifteen college students helping us at our practice. So we decided to open up with a fun game of “dinosaur.” The purpose of this game is simple. The “dinosaurs” run around, soccer ball in hand, and try to tag the kids with the ball. Kids love the game, therefore we love the game. However, at one point in the game, an observation came to me; the “dinosaurs” are not playing with any heart. They didn’t quite seem to understand the potential delight that this game brought about. So I decided it was time to show them just how much “fun” this game could be. As soon as I got the ball I began to run around like a crazy dinosaur. I tagged one, two, three kids. They were gleefully screaming at the overzealous dinosaur. And then it happened….I spotted an overjoyed yet overconfident kid across the field and with focused determination I ran, I ran with all my heart. What I failed to do was to scope my surroundings and identify potential obstacles. About halfway to my target it happened…the incident I now refer to as “the great collision.” A small boy about three years old, unaware of what was about to happened, emerged from the large legs of the nearby dinosaurs. In my defense, he was small and almost everyone else on the field was large. I didn’t see him coming. It seemed to happen in slow motion. At the last second I saw him but it was too late. I did my best to jump over him but my legs are not as young and spry as they used to be. I flew threw the air, not as high as I hoped, knocked him down to the ground with my flailing legs, and then I landed…face first…in the dirt. The first person I saw when I lifted my face from the ground was my husband, Billy. He looked at me astonished and speechless. I turned around to face my audience. The game came to a complete standstill. No one moved, all was silent, everyone stared…for about three seconds. And then came the wailing. The small boy had just realized his fate or shall I say his face… full of dirt and blood and he began to cry. And boy did he cry! My first thought was to attend to the small boy but truthfully this was because I was hoping to take as much attention off of myself as possible. I carried the boy to the water stand to get him cleaned up and hydrated, hoping that soon his cries would cease. But they didn’t. He kept on crying…and crying…he cried a lot! In the midst of his cries I could hear him, in Thai of course, crying out for his mother. I had no choice but to return the boy to his mom. With his older sister guiding the way, we made the slow trudge through the small neighborhood to the home of the boy. As he cried, people stared. Here I was, a red-headed white girl, dirt covering my face, carrying a small Thai boy, tears streaking his face, his mouth spitting out dirt, crying for his mother. I like to think that I am here in Thailand to bring smiles to kids’ faces but inevitably I also bring tears. When we reached his home the boy’s mother was nowhere to be found. His father, however, came to see what all the fuss was about. The boy’s sister explained to the father what happened and with a little smile on his face he stretched out his hands and took the crying boy in his arms saying, “lets go get you cleaned up.” That young boy had carried on for about twenty minutes but as soon as the father took him in his arms, the boy’s crying turned into muffled breathing as he began to collect himself. There was nothing I could do to stop the tears. In that moment, only the Father could comfort, only the Father could speak his language, only the Father could clean his wounds, only the Father could take the pain away.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17