The U-Haul they had rented was parked nearby, ready to unload. They had brought it all the way from New Mexico to Joplin, full of goods for the needy ones. She had made a plea on their behalf, stood in the gap for the hurting, and the response was overwhelming. Friends and neighbors and some folk they didn't even know generously responded, bringing enough to fill a truck. A little child shall lead them.
She was going to take dance lessons this summer. She was. She wanted to . . . twirl, spin, leap . . . but she wanted to rent that truck more than she wanted to feel the wind beneath her wings. Even more so, she wanted to ride in the truck to Missouri with her mom and help people. There won't be any dance lessons for her this summer, maybe next year, she is on a mission instead, dancing her way into the hearts of the homeless.
Her daddy died three months ago. She and her momma cried and cried but all the ache would not go away. The pain of losing someone you love can hang on for a very long time. They chose to shake off their hurtful hearts and give to others who had lost more. It wouldn't bring her daddy back but it would make him very proud of her, even so.
A little girl of eight came to sign up to receive free supplies for the victims of winds. I helped her and her momma sign the papers, writing her name and age in the designated box, and those of her sisters, too. I introduced her to my new little friend from New Mexico. They were shy at first, strangers, grinning, then dimpled grins turned down to look at painted toenails inspecting the other's flip-flops. They went through the "store" together, pushing and filling the grocery cart while becoming friends. My new little friends, girls, ages 8 and 9 found a place to mend in the company of one another.
Like I said, I didn't sit on a pew last Sunday. My twirly skirt remained on the hanger, but I got the message that the Lord wanted to teach me. It was delivered by a nine year old girl from New Mexico. It was about giving when you are hurting and letting the healing come. There is something about reaching out when all you want to do is cower in that liberates one from the heaviness of grief. I got the message, but more than that, the message got me.
Did I just see her pirouette?