On delivering ministry while the drawstrings of one's sweatshirt are being pulled

During meeting for worship on Sunday, Five Year Old was having a hard time. He had been playing with my watch, and then he dropped it. Robin prevented him from picking it up, then handed it back to me. He was frustrated. He lightly hit Robin on the knee with his hand. "Stop!" she whispered. So he hit her on the knee with his head. "No!" she shook her head. Then he bumped her purse for a while, then he came over and hit me lightly on the knee. "Stop, you may not hit me!" I said. So he bumped his head on my knee.

I picked him up and sat him on my lap. He curled into me, wanting to be held closely, like a small baby or toddler. I comforted him for a bit.

And then I had a sense of how blessed we were, that maybe we were having a little bit of a hard time, and how much harder almost the entire world has it.

So I stood up, still holding him, and thanked God for the blessings in my family's life, and asked for strength and comfort for the children who suffer in the Kibera section of Nairobi (where our Friend Heidi is working with orphaned and abandoned young people), in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East. (And all the other places in hindsight that I didn't name.) After all, Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

Finally, I asked for strength in our meeting community to carry on, to make a difference, and to be a role model for each other and the world.

Meanwhile, Five Year Old went from leaning his head against me as I started to speak, to looking into my eyes, and then he pulled my hood up on my head and started pulling the drawstrings tight!

All while I'm trying to speak clearly, despite my runny nose and teary eyes, the words that were flowing out of me.

Samuel Bownas never covered this situation!

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PS Blogger is making me switch to the new blogger. I can hold out no longer. In my experience, when others upgrade, my bloglines subscription seems to disappear. So if you don't see anything in your reader for a while, you might want to check back to the site to see if it's me or if it's Blogger, and resubscribe if needed.
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Update, 2/14: Corrected typo "hood on head" which I noticed because Martin picked it up on the QuakerQuaker feed.


Anonymous said...

Ah, reality converges with ideology: that's a hard thing for me to cope with - you let it manifest quite well.

ps. I've actually thought about getting rid of my hoodie drawstrings as of late - too much of a temptation for a certain Turbo Tot.

Gregg Koskela said...


Chris M. said...

Thanks, Aj and Gregg. Yes, beware the Turbo Tots; they are inevitably drawn to drawstrings!

-- Chris M.

kathy said...

Chris, I love this because it points out that we don't need the perfect circumstances to minister to others. Nice job modeling that to Five Year Old who will one day be a father with a ministry.

Liz in the Mist said...

What a lovely story, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,

I am in awe of the FiveYearOld view of life. So inquisitive and filled with energy. It's a powerful ministry for me in meeting for worship. What's the word you used... "impishness"? May you and the FiveYearOld continue to inspire us with Divine playfulness. You looked very hip and so adorable with your hoodie pulled down around your chin. A precious moment to be sure. Thanks to you and Robin for your faithfulness in bringing your family to meeting!

Chris M. said...

Blake -- Thanks for the kind words. Yes, "impishness" is what I said! And it fits, doesn't it?