Saturday of the First Week of Advent
For you will give him everlasting felicity
and will make him glad with the joy of your presence. Psalm 21:6
The moment I see the school bus ahead of me, I know I have made a grave miscalculation. School has just dismissed; I should have chosen a different route at this time of day.
I brake as the lights of the bus flash signaling that it is about to make a stop to let off passengers. I wonder how many stops it will make before I am able to turn onto another street. But thankfully, I am able to turn at the next block--only I had forgotten that this is the very street of the middle school itself. Now I am stuck. The light is green but traffic is at a standstill as young teens pour from the school and swarm across the streets ushered by crossing guards in bright green vests.
There is nothing for it. For a moment I contemplate making some kind of drastic U-turn to get out of the mess, but then I resign myself to patience. And just as I approach the intersection, I see him--the boy steps into the crosswalk and executes an outrageous cartwheel, backpack and all.
What a gift. What would possess a middle-school boy to demonstrate such abandon, such non-conformity, such bliss? Having completed his gymnastic move, he continues nonchalantly on his way. No crowd around him, no fans egging him on, simply a boy enjoying himself.
He unknowingly brightens my heart. Christ as a twelve-year-old, doing cartwheels in the temple and astonishing the adults.
The traffic eases and I continue on my way, giving thanks for obstacles that slow me down and remind me to notice joy.
Copyright Anne E. Kitch 2013