One of Those Moments

I have changed the name of the little girl in this story, simply to protect her identity.

We had a great meeting with Maddie's teachers Thursday afternoon. It was 3rd-quarter-Kindergarten-report-card-pick-up-day (say THAT quickly with a mouth full of peanut butter!) so off we went to our neighborhood public school. Spring has sprung (finally) so we loaded up the stroller with Jackson and the scooter with Maddie and walked to her school (rather than bundle up and dash to the car) - so nice!

The teachers shared how Maddie was doing great in reading and math and all the other things she's supposed to be doing, getting W on most every line. (I have no idea what "W" means - must be equivalent to an "A"?). She got a P (partial) on the 'knows how to skip' line - she can run and jump but I guess skipping is a tad bit tricky!

One of the questions we had for her teachers was "How does she interact with the other kids?" She has a couple of very close friends but we wanted to make sure she wasn't exclusive and was playing with all the kids. Mrs. O mentioned that she has been very pleased at how Maddie plays with all the kids, especially one little girl named *Jenny, who happens to have some serious learning/emotional issues. She said that Maddie consistently includes Jenny and tries to talk with her and help her and tells her she's pretty, even when she yells at or hits Maddie in return. Mrs. O has been trying to point this out to the other students at how Maddie's behavior is so kind, loving, etc., (not sure of her exact words but this was the gist of what she was sharing).

This, my friends, was one of those moments. I kept the tears in (at the time) but was beaming with pride - not because of what Jack and I have done in raising her, but because Maddie loves Jesus and has taken to heart the fact that there are lots of people in the world that others don't love or won't love or choose to ignore or make fun of; but Jesus loves those people and so should we. She gets it. It took only one talk with Maddie, at the beginning of the school year (after she saw Jenny throw an unbelieable fit of rage), explaining to her that she has some learning issues and a very sad home situation, and that she sure could use a friend - someone to love on her even when others are unkind to her. From that point forward, Maddie has been a sweet friend to her.

Last week Maddie wanted to have a playdate with Jenny, so she went out of her way to ask her to come over for a visit. Friday, she and her mother came over for lunch and play and what an enjoyable time we had. Through tears, her mother said, "No one has ever had us over for a playdate!" I can only imagine the anguish this mother feels as she sees how others treat her daughter. As a mother, my heart broke for her as she shared, from her heart, the incredible hardships she and Jenny have endured through the years.

We hope to consistenly reach out to this sweet mother and daughter - they need friends that will love on them and care for them and tangibly show them Christ's love. They NEED Jesus. Jack and I are excited to begin cultivating a friendship with this family in hopes of seeing them come to the ultimate Hope Giver Himself. Their lives are a mess, but we know the Mess-Cleaner-Upper. For whatever reason (well, I know the reason - it's God!), Jack and I have both, seperately and together, had a heavy burden for this family - we see how God has orchestrated us being plopped into the path of this family and we are joining God in His work!

And to think this relationship started with a tender 5-year-old's heart for another 5-year-old with lots of problems. I believe this is only the beginning of what God is going to do in and through Maddie. Her heart is full of compassion and love for those in need. Just recently I was reflecting on the fact that when we follow Jesus, we have His Holy Spirit in us, and He gives us spiritual gifts. When Maddie asked Jesus to come into her life on December 23rd, 2007, He gave her spiritual gifts, too. I believe, already, I am seeing that she has the gift of encouragement. Exciting things are on the horizon - stay tuned to hear what God does in Jenny and her mommy's lives, and quite frankly, the lives of our family, too!

While it'd be nice if Maddie's P turned into a W on her "knows how to 'skip' grade," her W on loving the hard-to-love is the bottom line. W stands for "Well done good and faithful servant! Well done!" Age doesn't matter when your heart loves Jesus. Well done, Maddie! Well done!


Jill said…
I am really touched by this blog entry -- partly because I have a child who needs a little extra love - and partly because it is so neat to see Jesus at work in our kids lives. How exciting - it will be great to see how the Lord works in this situation! Keep us posted!
Mae said…
This touched my heart also, being the grandmother and also one who loves Jesus and knows how He can use children to bring glory to Himself.
Alice said…
Ok, I cried when I read this. Who cares about skipping? The world needs more Maddies. Oh that we would all have the heart and faith of children, as Jesus said. And yes, keep us all posted on Stephanie and her family!
Lenny said…
Pretty special. I am trying to hold back the tears of joy at work. Oops, did I say I was reading this at work. Love you guys and miss you.

Jack said…

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