Saturday, November 8, 2014

The lesson of the merry-go-round

Every summer day at Lake Pemaquid Family Campground on the coast of Maine, boys and girls spill from their campers to frolic on the busy playground. They pump themselves higher and higher on swings; bounce each other off teeter-totters, and spin as fast as possible on a miniature merry-go-round, like the one shown here.

But unless an adult is present to spin the carousel, it's hard for kids to make it go very fast as they ride. That's where I came in. One day long ago, I was the grown-up who volunteered to spin it as pre-teen passengers held on for dear life, screaming "faster! faster!"

All except one little girl. She held tightly to the safety bar, but never smiled or said a word. The other kids didn't seem to know her. She was just there. During a break between spins, everyone got off to regain their balance. She walked to a tall man standing under a nearby tree. He looked like her Dad. And I heard her speak to him, in German.

So that was it! After all the kids reboarded the merry-go-round for a few more spins, I made sure she was sitting right where I stood, and just before giving the carousel a mighty tug, I whispered in her ear, "Wie heist du?" (what's your name?)  As she spun away, her face lit up and she grinned from ear to ear. Spinning past me again, she yelled, "Ich heisse Marta!" (my name is Marta). For the next few minutes, as she spun faster and faster, she never took her eyes off me, or stopped grinning.

Isn't that how it is when God speaks to us, His children? He never speaks in a foreign tongue, but always in words we can understand, and when He does, we don't feel alone anymore. Sometimes, like Marta, we grin from ear to ear.  (Acts 2: 4-6)

1 comment:

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