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Falling

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Lads to Leaders…A Great Fall!

Lads to Leaders. There is nothing like it. It’s a convention with just shy of ten thousand people that runs like a well-oiled machine. 99-plus percent of the people who run the convention are volunteers and the hotel staff sometimes complains that we are the group which never runs up bar tabs or watches the pay-for-view movies they provide in the rooms. But they still love us. We are relatively quiet, very clean and respectful. 

But the hotel staff, on the whole, doesn’t know about the most beautiful things about Lads. That room full of thousands upon thousands singing praises to our God on Sunday morning, the hundreds of different child-delivered speeches developing the phrase “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” The debaters who have learned, for life, how to articulate the Bible’s teaching about music in our worship, the many children who have learned 100 verses through the year or read the Bible from cover to cover. They don’t know about the very best part of Lads to Leaders, the faith that grows exponentially each year —faith that will be applied in all areas of adult living and faith that will be transformed into evangelism and souls around the throne one eternal day. 

We are one complete day into the convention as I write. So far, we’ve gone to the right room at the wrong time, once. (We’re going to count that waiting time as our one quiet time of the day…. We relaxed there for a moment, realized it was way too uninhabited for a Bible reading room, and then made a mad dash to the place where we actually belonged.) My husband walked around with white fuzz all over his navy pants, all day long. (One of the grands had been given a treat bag with a cotton ball bunny tail attached to the outside of the bag. It was so cute and Glenn carried it dutifully until that bunny had made white deposits all over his pants.)

The most dramatic climax was when I fell—twice—in front of about a thousand people in the Presidential ballroom last night. The first fall was a dramatic trip over someone’s legs; all the way to the floor, My first thought was “I can’t believe I did that in THE most public place in this whole convention—right up at the stage, during the awards, while all eyes were keenly focused on the toddlers going across the stage and the Oak Ridge Boys were belting out ‘Thank God for Kids’.… My next thought was “How will I ever get up?” 

But somehow I did, for just a about twenty seconds and then…I did it AGAIN!  Now I know that falling is a genetic thing. My mother was a great “faller”. But this was absolutely the finest and most public demonstration in the annals of family falling. Twice. in front a packed ballroom. To booming music. While Video cameras were focused on the very spot where I was face down, bottom up. I’ve fallen, pretty dramatically, in some pretty public places though the years, including, but not limited to…a WalMart parking lot, the north shore of Prince Edward Island, and  a public sidewalk in a busy metro area, And I have never fallen without laughing hysterically. Further, I have always had faithful “friends’ watching (I almost never fall privately) who laughed the kind of laugh that’s starts as a snicker, but quickly progresses to a chest-cleansing, tear-rolling, abdomen grabbing guffaw. And we can’t stop. Last night was no exception. My daughter cried laughing. My friend Penny is ordering me one of those pretty “necklaces” that they wear in the stage three hall at the nursing home. 

But yesterday, before the falls, I got to watch my grandson speak at a ballroom reception,  I heard him say “Jesus said  ‘The devil wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Peter.’ I hope Jesus prays for me, too.”  (I can attest to the fact that Jesus is before the throne in that advocacy.) I got to hug and encourage lots of little people who will do big things for Jesus because they are not ashamed. I got to listen to Eliza Jane say “I hope I will “neh-bah be ashamed. Neh-bah, ebba.” I share that hope. 

Ellis’s speech is about Humpty-Dumpty, the obsession of his little three-year-old world right now. It’s about a great fall and it’s about Eutychus and the Biblical fall from the window when Paul was preaching. It’s about Jesus who puts us together after our great, common fall. I was just falling “on theme” for him. Yeah. I’m going with that. It WAS a great fall…both times. 

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