Pigtails with bows.
Do the Limbo.
Falling down and getting up again.
Snacks and drinks.
Put your elbow in. Put your elbow out. Put your elbow in and shake it all about.
Zest for life.
Caring for others.
Sweet, sweet baby.
A few tears.
Bruises and bumps.
Lots of kiddos.
Shoes and socks.
I sat at the table and delighted in the activity and life in just the simple recreation and exercise of rollerskating. It was a busy buzz of children and adults and a clatter and cacophony of wrestling laces and tightening skates and trekking towards the skating floor. I watched as beginners headed out hanging onto the wheeled supports, made just right to push along the floor and skate and learn. Varied in age, but all beginning. Willing to take the plunge and the challenge and get out there and try. What enthusiasm! And certainly mixed with a certain measure of trust and strength and courage.
I sat at the table as the skaters lined up to do the hokey-pokey. I smiled as they put their right skate in and took their right skate out, as they put their right skate in and shook it all about… I watched the lady who was out there on the floor, doing the hokey-pokey right along with first this kid, then that kid. Kids from the program and place where she worked. Unrestrained, just having fun with the kids and getting into the game. I love to watch exuberant people, partly because I am an introvert and I would be hard pressed to do the hokey-pokey out on the middle of a skating rink floor.
I sat at the table and enjoyed the rosey cheeks and children’s chatter as they would skate up, out of breath, to relate how many times they’d skated around or how they’d bumped a knee or because they needed to take a rest. Sipping from their straws, then, eyes shining, taking to the floor again. Skimming around or staggering around. Shaky or sure. Arms flailing or moving in rhythm, as they propelled their small bodies into the tide of circling skaters.
I sat at my desk and typed out the list above and marveled at all the sights and sounds and the spirit of life that surrounded me as I sat at the table in the roller rink. Of the attributes God has placed into His creation. The courage and caring He’s given us. The enthusiasm and empathy. I heard laughter and thank-you’s. I saw concern and helpfulness. There were a few scuffles and a few hard bumps and some tears. But my heart wells big inside me, because I know each of the people I saw today belong to Him and were created by Him and we all matter so much to Him. He loves the best of us and the worst of us. He saw every bumped knee and banged elbow. None of it escaped Him.
Just one small place, in one small town, in one small county.
We are known. We are His.
Along with every other town and every other place and every other county and country.
All God’s people everywhere.