She straggles in with a weary face and dragging feet, straight from work. With a deep sigh, she drops her materials into the nearest chair and begins rearranging supplies and tables in preparation for the evening’s activities. She finishes with no time to spare as the first group of children bounces loudly into the room, laughing and singing, jostling one another for the best position near the front.
As her gaze wanders across the group of bubbly, energetic children, the change is remarkable. Tired shoulders lift; smile wrinkles form around her eyes; and the exasperated grimace slowly turns into a wide smile. Weariness forgotten, she launches into the lesson with the age-old question, “Hi, boys and girls! What did you learn about upstairs?”
She’ll rest her tired feet next week when Vacation Bible School is over. Tonight, she holds eternity in her hands as she shares from a Wordless Book crafted from faded construction paper.
“I’m sorry the house isn’t cleaner.”
I can’t help but chuckle. The house looks great to me, especially when you consider these brave foster-parents in their late 30s recently added two infant twins and their three-year-old brother to an already packed house. When I question their sanity with a smile, their response touches the depths of my soul.
“What else could we do? Nobody wanted them—premature meth babies with unending health problems. We had to take them. This was our James 1:27 moment. These children are our ‘widows and orphans,’ and we think God gave them to us.”
I can’t help but wonder if, in God’s eyes, their house isn’t the cleanest on the block.
He stays up late on Saturday night, working by the dim light of a small lamp to keep from disturbing his family. It’s been a long week of construction in the heat of the Deep South, and he fights sleep as he reviews his text for the fourth time. He can’t help but wonder if the extra work on the sermon will make any difference to his congregation as long as he doesn’t run long.
His mind toys with the haunting questions. “Will anyone listen?” “Is it really worth it—the long hours, the strain on my family, the countless late nights?”
His question is answered by images that fill his mind—faces of young converts and old, a couple whose made it through a rough patch in their marriage, the addict who turned his life around, young people leading worship, deacons who have given a lifetime to the church.
He shakes his head slowly before turning back to the worn pages before him. “Yeah,” he mutters, “It’s worth it.”
Are you one?
About the Writer: Eric K. Thomsen is managing editor of ONE Magazine. Contact him at email@example.com.