Cameron Tremble writes,
“When I was growing up, I had the good fortune to "accidentally” befriend a boy named Jesse when our third-grade teacher assigned the two of us to sit next to each other. As it turns out, she put two troublemakers together, and we hit it off beautifully.
Jesse was a kind and playful soul who had the misfortune of being placed in a foster care system that moved him dozens of times throughout his childhood. If I had had that experience, I suspect I might become suspicious of people, or bitter about my lot in life. Jess, however, had a God-given gift of seeing the best in people and believing that, ultimately, the people in his life were up to good.
In truth, you could argue that Jesse was gullible. When I figured this out, I remember playfully testing my theory. I would say things like, “Jesse, the teachers are going to cancel class, and we are going to spend the entire afternoon on the playground.” He would say, “Really? That’s great! What a great day!” He was so excited. Or I might say, “Jesse, the fire department is going to bring their trucks to the school, and we get to play on them.” “Oh wow!” Jesse would say. “What a great day!” I came to love this in him, and I wish I had more of it myself.
That summer, Jessie and I ended up at a church camp together. As part of our week there, we had to sit and listen to the pastor give us a LONG sermon on why we all should be Christians. I remember sitting in the hard pew hearing nothing but, “whah, whah, whah.” I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Then I looked over at Jesse. He was entranced; his eyes locked onto the pastor as he spoke. When the sermon finally ended and we walked out, I asked Jesse what he heard. He said, “God loves me! I never knew that. What a great day!”
Two months later, Jesse didn’t come back to school. He moved on to some other school and some other family and some other friends. As I look back, many years later, at that very special friendship, I give thanks to God for letting me know someone like Jesse. In a moment, when my ears were deaf to great news that would change my life, Jesse heard the words of hope.
I hope that you speak some words of hope today. Make it a great day!
Rev. Cameron Trimble
The Center for Progressive Renewal"