Children's Story: “When I was a little girl”…..Feb. 28, 2010When I was a little girl, I was kind of adventurous. I liked to be a little bit different from everyone else and try things that others didn’t want to try, like standing on my hands and using my cape to try to fly. I wasn’t too afraid of getting in trouble because my parents didn’t usually spank me and all I had to do was very sincerely say sorry and promise never to do it again.
The worst punishment was to have to go to my room and be on my bed and NOT READ! That was the worst of all.
One day my little sister Jeannie and I and a little boy named Drew who my mother babysat, were out in our backyard in Portland playing. I had my big rubber boots on, because it was wet and muddy.
We had two big strong old clothesline poles made out of iron and shaped like a T with heavy wires strung between them for the wet clothes to be hung on to dry, because we didn’t have a clothes dryer.
I had just learned how to hang by my knees on the monkeybars at school. Do you know how to do that yet?
And it looked to me as though our T-shaped clothesline pole would be a good place to practice this important skill. So I pulled an old bucket over to the clothesline pole and hoisted myself up onto the T crossbar.
The clotheslines that ran between the two T-shaped supports were heavy wires, which had been anchored to the support crossbar by twisting them around the bar. The wires stuck up (like this) with a sharp end pointing up.
I thought I was so cool! Here I was hanging by my knees and upside down, making faces at Jeannie and Drew, who were looking at me with their mouths open, obviously very jealous of my superior abilities!
Until I was tired of hanging upside down and wanted to get down---then I discovered that the sharp end of one wire had poked through my rubber boot and I was stuck, upside down. I couldn’t get down from the pole because my boot was caught by the wire and I couldn’t reach it to untangle it.
I wiggled and I stretched and just couldn’t manage to untangle my boot, and finally I started to cry. It was so embarrassing to be stuck upside down in front of Jeannie and Drew. I felt so helpless and kind of scared.
Now, I have to admit that I often teased Jeannie and Drew a lot; they were younger than I was and I kind of bossed them around, maybe too much. Because when I pleaded with Jeannie to go get Mom, she took her sweet time.
Our family story has it that Jeannie played a little more in the yard before she went in and announced to our mother that I was hanging from the clothesline.
Naturally, my mother came rushing out into the backyard and untangled me and lifted me down. And she sat all three of us down and explained that when someone was in trouble, it’s really important to get help right away, not goof around while that person is feeling scared and crying.
And, she told me in no uncertain terms that my teasing might have caused Jeannie to feel kind of glad that I was stuck and embarrassed and scared, because I might have made her feel that way with my teasing. I learned something important that day.
I’m glad to tell you that my sister grew up to be a woman who really loves and cares about people when they are hurting and in trouble, especially kids. And I don’t tease her any more and she always comes to help me when I need her. I hope you’ll remember this the next time you feel mad when someone teases you or when you tease someone and they get mad. Because it’s important to know.
I'm going to be talking to the adults in a little while about how we treat people when they are in trouble and things aren't fair. We're talking about Love in this story and I'll be talking about Love in the sermon. I bet you'll be talking about Love in your classrooms, too. Let's sing you off to your classes now.