“You can help me if you want,” Tina invites me. She says she has to clean up her room, but she really wants to arrange her cupboard.
I so much enjoy the quiet as I sit on the bed, watching a busy little girl absorbed in her chosen task.
And I enjoy her singing! Tina sings little impromptu songs—“He’s always alive and watching over you”, “God died for us but we don’t have to be sad because He’s always alive,” and “God loves you, God loves you so very much.”
She decides to pack a purple plastic case “for when I’m in high school.” Tina sharpens two pencils at both ends (for surely high school is even more demanding than kindergarten). She already has a nice pen, and I give her a company pen to go with it. She sharpens two fat crayons and packs a green marker, a yellow highlighter and a pencil sharpener. She wonders about packing a paintbrush or two, but I say high school students probably use different brushes for art class. Tina closes the case and puts it on the shelf, all ready for high school!
Before supper we read from her mom’s Bible. I choose the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, and explain that she and her mom were doing Jesus’ work when they visited shut-ins.
It’s a three-story night, and Tina chooses three of the days of Creation from her Bible story book.
During the stories, she struggles to stuff a pillow inside a unicorn costume. “She has a baby in her tummy,” Tina explains. Readers who have never shared a bed with a unicorn in labor and her midwife may be ill prepared to appreciate what goes on when the light is switched off.
Contractions are intense and close together, but, like most other births, this one is worth it. After her client’s trying labor and delivery, the proud midwife produces a little brown and white stuffed horse from under the covers with the happy announcement, “She borned a baby!” The filly’s twin soon emerges—a little black foal.
Thank You, God, for a sweet evening with Tina.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25: 35-40 (New International Version)