Back to Pilgrim's Progress. We set up a full dramatization all around our yard, with stations for the Slough of Despond, the Wicket Gate (with letters from the King, and maps, and Annelise Goodwill snatching them from David Worldly Wise), the Interpreter's Kitubi with Bible stories and posters by Scott, a relay where the burdensome backpacks (loaded with heavy medical tomes) were dropped at the cross and Ashley and Sarah the shining ones put the mark of the Kingdom on foreheads. There was a Palace Beautiful refreshment stop (yours truly as the motherly Discretion), and a dangerous run through the Valley of Humiliation where Caleb as Apollyon pelted the kids with little mangos. Then the Valley of the Shadow of Death (blindfolded) and Pat tempting them to stop in Vanity Fair, the cage, the stile (we happen to have one between cow pastures) where they were captured by Nathan as the Giant Despair and locked in Doubting Castle (water tanks). A quick view from the delectable mountains gave the stamina to fight out of the Flatterer's Net (who looked suspiciously like Worldly Wise) and make it to the Celestial City for the Birthday Feast of spaghetti and cake. We have such a game team, dressing up outlandishly and going along with the program willingly. Nathan achieved the distinction of (according to him) the most ridiculous he has ever looked in his life. Jack was honored, and Quinn will probably not forget it soon, especially the very real terror of being so close to the cow. By the end of the evening Jack was plunging back into the tears that were plaguing him a few months ago. I think it was the anxiety of worrying that he would feel sad on his Birthday that put him over, but I also think we are under a significant amount of spiritual attack right now, sickness and weariness and injuries and discouragement. So Pilgrim's Progress encouraged my heart, too. As Jack sobbed going to bed "At least I know that I won't feel this way in Heaven . . ." Amen. We journey on in that direction.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Pilgrim's Progress to 11
Jack turned 11 today, and chose "Pilgrim's Progress" as his birthday theme. We've read the "Little Pilgrim's Progress" several times, and this past Christmas Trinity church sent the kids a cartoon version. It actually is a good theme for Jack, because he's exceptionally literate, spiritually sensitive, and ready to do battle. Today was a typical Bday challenge for us though, juggling patients and family, and without Scott's input I would not have made it. UNICEF showed up unannounced for the key meeting that would determine whether we continue to get milk for malnourished kids for 2009. The doctor could not have been nicer, but I was also honest when he came just as I was leaving the health center, that I had to make it quick for my child's sake. I did not think it right to ignore a once-a-year visit from Kampala that determines over ten thousand dollars worth of milk formula for dozens and dozens of the neediest children. But I also did not want to short change Jack. In the end, with lots of help, it all came together, we passed inspection, signed the contract, made dinner, and organized the party!