Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Dog, The Child, And Da' Boys

Our special needs dog Winston woke me this morning at six, howling.

He hasn't done that in a while but it was probably a good thing for me to get up and get moving. Winston may howl, but he's always such a happy dog, it's hard to actually get angry with him even when he does interrupt my sleep.

I tossed the dogs out and went for my walk. I mentioned the other day that I usually find a penny or two when I get out each day. This morning was like Vegas...I felt like I wasn't getting in any exercise I was stopping so often to pick up coins. I began to suspect a lot of folks got home late on Saturday night, got out of their cars and didn't really care about much of anything except getting to bed, because coins were seemingly everywhere.

I came home with 93 cents.

Before I had even returned from my walk, I had decided I'd give the money to one of the kids at church to donate during our "blanket time" with Gordon. The kids give small donations each Sunday which is sent to help a very specific missionary project in India.

Today was our "New Beginnings" Sunday, the start of our Sunday school year which, being good Baptists, means we don't actually have Sunday school, instead we eat and talk about having Sunday school starting the next week. I waited to decide which kid to unload the coins upon when Jacob bumped up behind my chair, trying to squeeze his way through to retrieve a toy that had gotten away from him. I let him by, but when he came back the same way I demanded a hug before letting him through and then asked very solemnly if he would do me the favor of donating the coins I had found.

Jacob is a funny kid...he's always smiling - unbelievably cute. Sometimes he reminds me of Winston, except he isn't a special needs kid and he doesn't howl to my knowledge. He's simply a delightful little boy. He took my coins and carefully put them in one of the many pockets of his cargo shorts. I really wasn't sure he'd remember which pocket they were in much less to make an offering.

When blanket time came I watched and when Gordon pulled out the small bag (made by the Banjara people of India) where we accept the children's offerings, Jacob's eyes lit up and he quickly started fishing around in his pockets to find those coins which he dutifully put in the bag.

It was a simple thing. It made me smile. Sometimes that's all I need from church...simplicity and devotion.

This afternoon another Sunday tradition resumes...Gordon will come over and we'll watch the Dallas Cowboy's season opener. They're playing the Vikings...there's no telling if that will make me smile or not.

I think I'll hang onto the image of Jacob and the 93 cents today...that way I'm assured of a bountiful Sunday.