Where do you want to go?
I eagerly anticipated this moment; I anticipated both her companionship and our topic. Sophia, my firstborn granddaughter, selected her favorite ice cream shop for our conversation. No ordinary venue would do; our momentous occasion called for a special setting.
On this one quiet Saturday afternoon, my life and hers would intersect. While she is a third grader, I wanted to stop time and take her back to my own Third Grade Story. The conversation would be short, but significant.
Sophia, in a most grown up manner, guided me through the menu to select cookies and cream in a waffle cone. She chose the same flavor, but wanted hers in a bowl.
Sitting at a vintage soda fountain ice cream table, we settled in to savor our treats. Here I launched. Bright-eyed, Sophia listened eagerly as I described a page from the journal of my life.
Sophia, once upon a time…
On a night long ago, a little third grade girl went to a meeting in her small country church. That night, this little third grade girl listened for the first time to a woman tell her own life story of being a missionary in Africa. In a gentle way, God tugged at the young girl’s heart. When the meeting ended, this third grader boldly walked past all the pews and all the people gathered, to speak privately to the missionary woman.
She patiently waited her turn in line, but finally her moment came. Standing beside the guest speaker, the little girl looked up and said, “Mam, I believe you were speaking to me. Tonight, I believe you were speaking to me.”
The kind woman paid close attention, and waited for the little girl to finish. Then, she looked deeply into the little girl’s eyes, and responded with one life-changing sentence. “Honey, make it know; make it known.”
I know this story to be true, for I was that little third grade girl. I listened to the missionary woman, and I spoke to her afterwards. What she said to me that night made a difference for the rest of my life. And this is the most important part of The Third Grade Story: I have never been sorry.
I have never been sorry that God touched my heart as a little third grade girl to give me the desire to be a missionary. This true story means so much to me, and I wanted to share it with you, while you my granddaughter, are in the third grade.
Sophia paused, and then smiled her signature gentle, sweet smile. Time stood still. I captured the moment with every corpuscle of my being.
Sophia and I left the ice cream shop, and moved on to the grocery store to buy plastic eggs for our upcoming family Easter gathering. She and I set up production at a table in the deli section. We sorted colors and coins, and filled the dozens of pastel eggs with quarters and nickels. We giggled and speculated who would find the golden egg. (Gammy, we have to have a golden egg! )
Shortly thereafter, I drove her home, and we hugged goodbye. Alone again in my car, I sighed deep within. I thought, I love being a Grandmother, and it is not hard to understand why: her life, my life, our great God.
Sophia was first to hear The Third Grade Story. Soon, Grace, Sabrina, Vera – one day David and Faye - will follow.
Our conversation may not always take place in an ice cream shop; the flavor may not always be cookies and cream. But, The Third Grade Story will always have the same beginning:
Once upon a time…
On a night a long ago, a little third grade girl went to a meeting in her small country church. And, The Third Grade Story will always have the same ending: I have NEVER been sorry.
Living with eternal intentionality: “One generation shall praise Thy works to another.” (Psalm 145:4) What story are you excited to tell the next generation?