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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

St. Thomas {Part 2} How it Feels to be Held.

My heart is so full just thinking of all the bright faces below that touched my soul.
Our group held a Vacation Bible School on the Island. We were
blessed to have about 50 kids attend!

Those kids are also some of the happiest kids I have ever met!
I have many amazing stories to tell, but this one I am about to share is a moment
that will stay with me forever.

One of the girls in my class, Le'dejah was joyfully singing along with all the other kids
and unfortunately it got a little rough.....
The sweet girl bumped her ahead, hard, against another girl's.
Instantly, tears filled her big eyes, and before I knew it
her petite arms wrapped tightly around my waist.
Like the instinct of a mother, I embraced her gently, cradling her head.
She pulled her small frame up into my lap and I all I could was hug her ever so close.
I thought of my nieces in that instant, how in times of pain all they need is to be comforted. I did.

I moved to a pew away from my class.
As I sat there, rocking her back and forth, I rubbed her back.
After a moment, she glanced up at me, tears still streaming down.
I wiped them away, hoping to wipe away her pain.
I asked her if she wanted to join the other girls, but Le'dejah refused and leaned her head
back down on my chest.

A few minutes went by, and I had to get up to announce some of the kids from the class.

Instead of asking, I tell her softly, "Le'dejah, you have to go sit back down."

Then her reply stops me in my tracks, "No", as she squeezes tighter.."No one ever holds me."

Every fiber in my body wanted to never let go.
I felt an instant connection between her heart and mine.
The sound of her words pulled and stretched at my heart, and it grew.
I was holding her, but she was also holding me, 
..and holding my heart.
She showed me what it felt like to be held.
Le'dejah will always hold a special place in my heart.

I also think of the relationship between God and us.
There are moments when we hurt and all we want
is to be held...
to be loved...

I realized it didn't matter if they remembered all the bible stories or memory verses we taught.
But the love we showed them in those few days 
is what would make an impression on their very souls!
And through our love, they would see God.

I am forever changed by the experience.
This is Le'dejah, doing her victory dance.
Instant friendship between 3 of my girls and me on the first day.
Two of my sweet boys, Cle'jae and King David.
Jherisa, full of such joy and happiness, look at that smile!
My boys.
My girls.
A moment to freeze-frame time.
Another sweet smile from Le'dejah.
My buddy.
Singing songs with these precious kiddos.
A room full of sweet souls.
My class, the kids I will never forget..
forever belonging 
in my cherished, unforgettable memories.

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