Joshua loves church...always has.
Unless it goes past noon...then all bets are off.
Oh, he'll wait until he fills in the last point on his fill-in-the-blank sermon notes...but then it's pen up, Bible closed, leather jacket on (he has this leather jacket that he wears 365 days a year, and when I asked him about it one hot August morning, he said, "well, where ELSE am I gonna put my water?") (He carries a water bottle to church with him every Sunday.).
Anyway, back to the whole not-preachin'-past-noon thing...his exact words on that situation are: "I love Jesus...but it's time for lunch."
Joshua has difficulty hearing in certain situations in life, but thanks to the sound quality in our new worship center, he hears pretty well in there. The Jumbotron is his best friend, because it makes it easier for him to keep up with all the words.
Back in July, we sang the song, "You Are Holy." If you are familiar with the song, the men and women take turns singing, and there is a part in the chorus where the men and women are singing different words AT THE SAME TIME. Usually, this is highlighted in some way on the screen. This particular time, it was not. I don't know that it would've made a difference with Joshua. Most people figured it out. Joshua was not one of those people.
We're talkin' jaw set, bottom lip stuck out, and arms folded. There may or may not have also been some muttering of all the Downsy bad words he could think knew.
So, the guest pastor was preaching on "Understanding the True Meaning of Freedom." He was talking about the slave-turned-brother-in-Christ, Onesimus. Joshua likes to fill in the blank on the sermon notes, and Onesimus was one of the answers. Joshua would look up at the screen, write a few letters, look up at the screen, write a few more letters.
So he started "o-n-e..." and scratched it out. Then, "o-n-e-i..." and scratched it out. Then, "o-n-e-s-i..." and as he looked up at the screen to get the next letters, the screen changed to the next point.
And there was a repeat of the whole jaw...bottom lip...folded arms...thing.
The only thing that would've made it worse is if the preacher had posted a Hebrew or Greek word on the screen, and then expounded on it's original meaning. This happened one Sunday...and Joshua?
Head flew straight off.
Jim always shares his notes with Joshua, so no worries.
There have been times when Joshua has had to take matters into his own hands. A couple of years ago, one of the fill-in-the-blank answers was "enthusiasm." I watched Joshua struggle with the spelling, and then put his pen down in frustration. I was just about to nudge Jim to help him, when Joshua picked up his pen. I watched as he slowly wrote, "J-O-Y" in the blank...and then looked up with his proud face.
Enthusiasm = Joy. Yep. That'll do.
And it just got me thinking how we don't know the struggles going on with the people right around us. Big struggles, small struggles, little annoyances. Like the quote, "everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."
Big, small, young, old, talented, struggling; black, white, red, brown, yellow; strong, weak, agile, feeble, deaf, blind, mute; healthy, jovial, challenged, athletic, smelly, LOUD; troubled, saved, sickly; beautiful, "ordinary," dirty, clean.
I love this quote from Kelly Minter in "Wherever The River Runs," a wonderful book about bringing the Gospel to the forgotten people of the Amazon: "The least of these have the most to give."
Yes, Lord. Give us eyes to see.
"In fact, some of the parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary." 1 Corinthians 12:22