Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moments of Grace

The other day I saw a sweet moment and wanted to share it with you.

I got invited by our school librarian to attend an author's visit at my son's elementary school. The author was John Perry, who wrote a super fun book called, "The Book That Eats People." We were all excited by his visit because he'd just won the North Carolina Children's Book Award, and he was going to spend the whole day with us to read and sign autographs.

I got to the school at mid-morning and watched as he sat at a table (looking exhausted) signing books. To his credit, he'd already done an assembly for the K-2nd graders, signed books for two hours and then had to do another assembly for the 3rd through 5th graders.

Kids were sent to the library in small groups to wait in line while he signed their books. As each child stood before him he'd ask their name and then say, "Tell me something about you." I could see by the children's responses and facial expressions that this was a new question for them. It made me wonder how many people really want to know them.

I leaned against a low library shelf and watched the way he dealt with each child. He looked each one in the eyes as they talked. Some kids were excited to meet him and some were nervous. It was easy to pick out the popular, confident kids from the ones on the fringes. No matter their personality or style, he treated them all the same, with kindness, respect and genuine interest.

Then this one 5th-grade girl walked into the library. Earlier that week, I'd had lunch with my son and noticed her right away. She was a frizzy haired gangling sort of girl, sitting at the next lunch table. She wore glasses, braces over her buck teeth, and kept her head down just staring at her lunch tray. She was alone. Obviously unpopular. She reminded me very much of Anne Hathaway's character in The Princess Diaries....before she realized she was a princess.

This girl was so nervous, she literally bit her lip, crossed her arms over her torso and began to sway back in forth while she waited. When Mr. Perry asked her to tell him about herself, my heart dropped. She hesitated and I wanted to shout, Oh for the love of God, you're torturing her. Just sign the book!

It's a good thing I didn't because her eyes got wide and she said, "I like to read. And play video games."

He leaned back in his chair, looked at her intently and very slowly said, "You know what I like about you? It's the way you stand."

Again, inside my head I was shouting, No! Stop! Don't talk about her, can't you see she's shy? She's a nervous wreck! 

But I didn't. And it's a good thing I keep my mouth shut, because he said, "It's as if you're sitting in a tree, and the tree is gently swaying back and forth."

And she smiled.

And it was all I could do to keep tears from squirting horizontally at both of them.

I just know that's what it's going to be like when we stand before our Father in Heaven. I just know it.

1 comment:

  1. ...and it took everything for me to keep the tears from short circuiting my computer.


    Thank you for sharing this!