Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Worm Discernment

Lahum is gorgeous: thick wavy dark hair, yummy olive skin and eye-lashes fat and long. Like a venus fly trap. He is unaware of how gorgeous he is. He is six years old. As a conversationalist he is either on or off. Can go without saying a word for long stretches, but once he decides to engage, the most incredible things fly out of his mouth. This morning he arrived quite late and seemed unusually introspective. He will make a marvelous brooding husband someday. When the kids were lining up to walk to school he was so focused on pulling the skin off the blister on his thumb that he nearly got left behind. I was bringing up the rear in the school walk today, and since Lahum was so very slow and focused elsewhere we walked together. It was chilly, the numbing cold after a rain that was nearly snow, the air and ground wet. I tried a few conversation starters. Nothing. He was looking down and dragging slowly. I was watching his face and found my heart breaking. What could be so bad in this beauty’s life? I had to keep urging him to step it up a little as the rest of the group was getting quite far ahead. Still, he’s looking down. All I can see is his thick lowered eyelashes. I want to scoop this child up and run away with him. Just as we cross the street and get to school grounds he speaks. “There are a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot (I am thinking “Oh dear. Whatever it is, there are certainly a lot”) a lot, a lot of dead worms.” I look down and see what he is talking about. All over the sidewalks are worms that have crawled out of the cold wet ground and have thrown themselves onto the sidewalks for some reason. Lahum continues. “I don’t know if they used swords or guns or knives or if they just wrestled but they had a terrible fight.” “It’s hard to tell whether the good worms or the bad worms died. They are just dead. But I know there was at least one bad worm or else there wouldn’t have been a fight.” (Eureka. He is so very smart) So this is what he has been thinking, looking down at as we walked to school.

Then he says “I can tell though.”

“What?” I ask.

“I can tell which worms are good worms and which worms are bad worms.”

“How?” I am dying to know.

“I just can. It’s something I can do.”

I tell him that he has a special gift. Then we are at school and I have to leave him so I can go to work and he can learn about numbers and letters and such. He doesn’t even miss me. Just keeps walking along the hall, head down. I have no idea what he’s looking for now. I’m hoping some day he can teach me how to tell good worms from bad worms. I’d like that gift too. In the meantime I thank God for this little boy who trusts his gift of discernment. I pray that it will serve him well some day. The circumstances of his young life I’m sure are tough. But he knows he is gifted, special, in at least one way. May he always have at least that.
(Note picture is not of Lahum but it's at least a picture of a kid looking at a sidewalk worm.)

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