It’s Wednesday evening. Light is dimming in the sky.
During normal times, we are picking up children in a van for church. Today is abnormal. Church is closed. Children are staying home. We are staying home.
Last Wednesday night, we asked the children to help us look for a hubcap in the ditches. (Our church van lost one of its hubcaps.)
My husband, the driver of the van, thought we’d probably lost it on one of the dirt roads. So, we offered a dollar as a reward to the first one who spotted it.
Two little girls, ages five and six, were vigilant about looking for the hubcap.
They had no luck. We had no luck. No hubcap.
After we returned home that evening, my husband and I talked about what that might mean. I didn’t know if we’d now need to look in junk yards or what.
He said, “Either that or buy new ones.”
But children. They talk about what’s going on in their hearts, in their minds.
A mother called Thursday, the following evening, and asked if the church van had actually lost a hubcap.
“Yes, we did,” I said.
“Was it a Ford hubcap?”
“Yes, it was.”
“Well,” she said, “I found it last week and picked it up.”
“Great!” I said. “Did she tell you we offered a dollar for finding the hubcap? We owe someone a dollar. If you would, just hold onto the hubcap, and we’ll get it next Wednesday night.”
She said, “Of course. I’ll keep it for you.”
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has grown. No church tonight.
So today, we made a short trip to pick up the hubcap and pay up!
Children remember promises. They know how promises are suppose to work.
The little girl deserved her dollar. Actually, both girls deserved a dollar. They were so alert and watchful in looking for the hubcap.
I remember the younger one making the plan. “You look in that ditch, and I’ll look in this one, okay?”
My husband and I smiled, knowing they had it covered. These two girls can spot deer I never see!
Other children had climbed into the van and eventually asked, “What are they looking for?” The story of our loss was told several times.
Today we drove our truck to the house to get the hubcap.
My husband got out, rang the doorbell, and both girls came to the door!
He said, “I came for my hubcap.”
Lively turn-arounds, and they reappeared with a mother and a hubcap.
My husband handed over two one-dollar bills.
He headed back to the truck. They headed for him, hugging his legs. He stopped, turned, and said, “Ms. Pat is on the other side of the truck.”
Here they came with hugs for me!
No wonder we teach children. They are fully alive, giving magnanimous love.
I know. I know. I know. Coronavirus.
Well, that’s probably why churches are part of the shut-down. Children, for sure, cannot keep their love inside themselves and not give it away.
P.S. Stay peaceful.
Hubcap, back where it belongs. Photographed by Pat Durmon, March 2020.