"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Tender Touch - Spending Treasure XI

We arrived early, so we decided to walk over to the coffee shop for a hot drink before service.  I simply wanted coffee, so I grabbed a cup and walked over to an empty table while Matt stood in line for a specialty drink.

As I stirred the flavored cream into my coffee, someone walked up behind me and tenderly touched me on the shoulder.  “Look at this,” he said, “Bring back any memories?” 

I burst out laughing.  It was a photo of our first grade class - just a few years ago. ;-)

 “Oh, Buster!” I exclaimed.  “You saved our class photo, too!”  I was certain that among my photo archives, I still had this photo as well as all my other grade school class photos. 

“Can you name everyone?” he said.

“I think so!” I replied, as I started at the bottom row, and named the kids that I remembered so well, even all these years later.

When I struggled with remembering someone, he helped me.  Once in a while he would say, “Oh! That’s who that is!”  Between the two of us, we named almost everyone in our first grade class. There were only two kids that neither one of us could remember.

We also reminisced about some of the kids that weren’t in this photo, but who had obviously been placed in the other first grade class at our little grade school.  For our entire elementary years, 1 – 8, in this old-fashioned, country school, there was always two full classrooms of kids the same age.  It was a fairly large group for this time, with about 22- 25 kids in each classroom.

It wasn’t long before our memories of the students changed to memories of teachers, occasions, and the school itself.  We were having a pretty good laugh, when another person in that photo joined us as well.

“Roger!”  (The names have been changed – just because)  “Did Buster show you this?” I laughingly asked him.

“Yeah, he showed me,” he replied with dry amusement; but he joined in whole heartedly with our “walk down memory lane”. 

It wasn’t long before Matt joined us as well.  “OK, you guys; don’t tell him!  Let’s show Matt the photo and see if he can figure out which ones we are.”

To our surprise, Matt did not guess correctly any one of us.  Not even me! Even with only one row of girls! I didn’t think any of us had changed that much!

But oh, how we had a good laugh over all of it! Most of all, it was so heart-warming to be able to share stories from 50 years ago with these brothers in Christ.  That pretty much says it all. That may not seem like a big deal, but with the way our area has grown; as rare as it is for me to run into someone from that time; as big as our church is, being together, almost like 3 kids again, seemed nothing short of a Tender Touch miracle. 

I even found myself wistfully wondering if the three of us had been placed in that class room together all those years ago, merely for this moment today. There is just something special in recently realizing this is where we all ended up all these years later after four decades of no contact at all.  A little over the top? Maybe; but it at least makes me think this is a bit of an example of what things will be like in Heaven. Still over the top?  Yeah, probably not even close; but it was definitely a Tender Touch of treasure for the moment.

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