Wednesday was chapel day and my Kindergarten class slowly made their way into the sanctuary and down the long row that would seat all fifteen of them, plus one tired teacher. Since the row was not made to really seat fifteen five-year olds and one adult, we were a little bit cramped and I found myself placing my arm along the back of the bench to give a little more shoulder-to-shoulder room for the student sitting next to me. This particular student was a pixie with long brown hair and a mouth that continuously chattered throughout the day earning her multiple warnings about behavior. She was a leader on the playground and I had noticed many times the swing of her long hair as she delegated responsibilities to her ladies-in-waiting, a.k.a. classmates, in whatever pretend play happened to capture her attention. She was very independent and seemed to be affected by nothing.
As the chapel service progressed and our speaker began outlining his topic, I kept noticing that she had put her head back against my arm and that little-by-little she began to scoot toward my side. At first I regarded this as a simple case of the jitter bugs prevalent in most five-year olds. Then, I realized she was trying to move closer to me, and my heart melted when she finally reached my side and leaned her head into my chest. The little bird that I had so often thought was impervious to my scolding, a leader to her classmates, and an independent spirit, needed to be close to me to the point of leaning on me. This unobtrusive action made me want to put both arms around her and hug her tight, but I refrained and pretended not to notice what had happened.
This incident churned in my mind throughout the day and I began to think about several things that have happened in my personal life lately. There have been times when I needed a place to lay my head, or someone who I could lean on or sit beside. One of my favorite quotes from A.A. Milne is the one I have included with this post. Although the words are simple, “I just want to be sure of you” speaks volumes.
You can be close to someone both physically and emotionally without being sure of them. It is the surety that makes you feel safe and the surety that continues to deepen the bond of the relationship. When the surety is gone, something is lost. Every once in a while we all need to be “sure” of someone. Despite the fact they are present in our lives, possibly on a daily basis, there are times when we need that extra assurance. My little bird knew that I was there for her and despite my scolding and continued instruction to her throughout the school day, she just needed a moment to be sure of me and it touched my heart.
Children are innocent and simple in thoughts and actions, but so much of who we are as adults stems from this very innocence. I can think of nothing more important to me than to have those in my life that I can be sure of, and more importantly, to know there is One in whom I can always be sure and whose shoulders and side are big enough to lean on in uncertain times. I hope you have that assurance as well.
Until next time,