Little Man, Button Jar, and a Pair of Carhartts
Monday 9:25 AM Eyes the color of melted milk chocolate peered over the counter and stared into the open door of my office. Silent as a dormant tree he stood, planted against the counter. Slipping down off my double-seated, orange, Asian bench, I approach the "Little Man". Time seems suspended as his eyes search my face. Moments are sliding by but he seems unaware.
In a manner that surprises me, he simply states, "My teacher says you can fix anything." I am amused. He is serious. Trying not to snicker, I ask, "What needs fixing?" He gazes at me like I should have the mind reading abilities of a grandmother. Slowly, his dirt-filled fingernailscome to rest on the top of his hand-me down, Carhartt overalls. Leaning across the counter, I take a closer look. Dirt has embedded itself on the knees and grass has made its home on the backside. I say nothing. Silence hangs between us. Honestly, words are escaping me at this moment. He is a new kiddo and I don't know his story yet.
Touching my hand gently, he whispers, "I can bring them tomorrow, cuz I have another pair of pants." Tears are welling up from deep inside my soul. All I can muster is, "Okay, but the button might be a little different from the other one." Turning he runs out the recess door yelling, "The lady is going to fix my pants, teacher!"
I tuck this interaction away and attempt to go on about my day with business as normal. But, this one simple interaction has ignited a cocktail of emotions that I can not contain. Options skim through my head like a flipbook.
9:25 PM Crouching on the plush rug of my studio, I remove the button jar from the shelf. Textures, shapes, and colors areeye-candy for this girl. Carefully, I am fingering each button as I dig, like a dog looking for a buried bone. Time passes, yet I am unaware. I am lost in the thought of this child's explicit trust in my ability.
Tuesday 10:30 AMLittle Man's sister brings me the Carhartts and tells me she needed to wash them first. Wow! This precious girl is only in fourth grade, yet she is taking care of her brother. I thank her and tuck them away.
5:30 PMMany hour have slid by. Perched on a high chair in my studio, my fingers are working at making this Little Man's request become a reality. There is more than just the button that I discover needs to be repaired. As I work, I find myself chatting with my Father about this little guy and His sister. He says nothing, but I feel His smile.
6:45 PMI am finished. Carefully folding them, I place them in my car. Morning can't arrive soon enough.
Wednesday 9:00 AM Sauntering down the pristinely waxed hallway, I arrive at the "Little Man's" room. The teacher is teaching. Crouching down, I ask him to go put them in his backpack. He says nothing, but takes them onto his lap and places his grungy left hand on top of them. His milk chocolate eyes dance and his mouth is turned up in a gigantic smile. Standing up, I force myself to walk away.
Maybe I should be more like this "Little Man". His explicit trust in my ability to fix his problem never wavered. How often do I come to my Father and ask for help, only to walk away with it still in my hands. Psalms 55:22 in the Message says, "Pile your troubles on God's shoulders - he'll carry your load, he'll help you out..." Maybe it's time I handed over my "overalls" and ran out the door proclaiming, "He's going to fix _____!" (You fill in the blank.)
What do you need to hand over?
Until we Chat Again,
The Plank-Eyed Girl