Tuesday, October 22, 2013

If You Give a Kid a Fig Tree

     In the chaos of students rambling and rummaging about, a boy held a fig tree. Quite and detached, he stayed back- unwilling to join in. There near the tree he watched as a hole was prepared- attempts were made to draw him in; he remained silent at his post.
     One approached him, asking in Spanish- won't you join me? I need your help preparing the tree. He eyed warily, searching for recognition- how did he know this person who called him by name? Realization came, the ID badge was hidden by a jacket, as was hair and other features that might strike remembrance. Once revealed, again he was asked in his language- Will you help prepare the tree? Show them and I will explain it. A hint of a smile was all the answer he gave.
       No prompting, no direction, the boy gently coaxed the tree from it's container- ever so careful to protect the tender trunk. Skillfully he loosened the root ball, fanning them about as he placed the tree into it's new home. With confidence he held it steady as fellow students filled the soil in all around offering it water and nourishment.
        Tools cleaned, task complete- back to class they headed, each filled with excitement and chatter over the planting of a tree. One stood a bit longer- satisfied with the task, fulfilled in his purpose. Thank you for your help with the tree. Only a faint hint of a smile was seen as he walked away.

         The desire of my heart has always been to reach the unreached, to love the unloved, to tell the untold. Earlier in the school year this quite young man approached me with grace and kindness- I had misspoken in translating for some of his classmates. I learned he struggles with English and is often off to the side due to his lack of confidence in the language. Chatting with him in the garden we built and planted, I learned his father owns a landscaping business- making him well acquainted with plants.
          God's wisdom and grace opened a door, that opened a connection, that gave a child victory in a small thing- he helped me, and I helped him. Each time this young man arrives at his school, there will be a reminder of this moment- a fig tree, representing his confidence and success amidst classmates he struggles to understand. I gave a boy a fig tree- God gave a boy direction.  

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