Spit Out That Frog

When I was a little girl, my Sunday school teacher told our class she had a frog in her throat. I spent the rest of the class time looking for that frog to show himself. Another Sunday morning a strange little classmate of mine ate all the petals off a potted geranium; I spent the rest of that class with one eyeball trained on him to see if he would keel over and die. And why must people tell stories of the horrible things that happen if you swallow your gum? You can bet that I had nothing else on my mind the Sunday morning that that happened. I wonder if that gum is still lining part of my intestine today….

When I got old enough to help out in the nursery, my eyes were opened to the dubious joys of baby-rocking and diaper changing. I learned that green baby diarrhea can travel along the inside of cute ruffly tights all the way to the feet! In my mischievous junior high days, I enjoyed torturing the pianist on request night with songs like “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and “The Awakening Chorus.” Now that I am a pianist myself, I understand just how evil that was.

So it’s a miracle that I ever learned a thing in church – good thing God’s in the miracle business!
He still managed to get my attention and give me a burning in my heart to follow him. He gave me beautiful examples to follow, like Mrs. Corbett, the pastor’s wife, who always had a positive attitude and encouraging smile, and Gail Malone, who showed all of us girls what true godliness looks like. I learned about serving, and giving, and functioning in the body of Christ.

We visited that church on our trip to N.H. and so many memories came flooding back! True Memorial Baptist will always hold a special place in my heart.

We also visited the church I attended in the summers of my college years. And we had the pleasure to visit with a family that we hadn’t seen in a very long time. Over twenty years ago, a couple in the church invited George and Margie to attend with them. George was a rough and rugged stonemason, and Margie a petite waitress at the local diner, with a beautiful smile and sunny disposition. But they were in great need of a Savior, and this couple was persistent in their attempts to reach them. One day they posted this sign on a telephone pole where they were sure George and Margie would see it.

They did see it and were moved by the love that was represented in that simple sign. They came to church that very Sunday, and at the invitation they immediately stepped forward. The sign now hangs in their dining room. Through the thick and thin of the next twenty-plus years, they have learned and grown, raising beautiful children who also follow Christ. The day we visited George, he was recovering from surgery, a little older, a little thinner, but still exuding Christian joy and an unmoving faith.

We visited for a while, and George recounted his frustration in once trying to witness to some unruly teenagers. He attempted to talk with one kid and became exasperated. Grabbing the boy’s knee with his large, rough hand, he said, in his marked New Hampshire accent, “One day yawh gonna die. Yawh gonna DIE. Now do you wanna go ta heaven aw nawt?” “Yeah,” the squirming boy responded. “Well, then shuddap and let me tell ya HOW!”

George and Margie can be found every Sunday in the choir loft of the First Freewill Baptist Church, New Durham. What beautiful examples of the power of a transformed life in Christ!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another chewing/swallowing incident you had in Children’s Church when I was “on duty” was when you were about three. You and others were coloring with crayons that were strewn around on the table. The girl next to you would first chew on all the crayons she was using before she lay them back down after use. I was having a fit (knowing my psychosis about kids germs), because you inevitably picked up and used each of them after she had enjoyed them as her mid-morning snack. That evening her mother called the mothers of those she knew had been in that class to give them a head’s up that her hungry daughter had broken out in chicken pox that very afternoon. That’s right, two weeks to-the-day, it was your turn. No inoculations for chicken pox in those days!