There’s been a run of cold and wet days this week. Perfect reading weather, which I have taken advantage of due to feeling a bit under the weather myself.
By this time in Term Three, the countdown is on for Year Twelve to exit stage right from their school days. General apathy in the classroom has set in, followed by rehearsals for the annual community concert; all little reminders that the bundle of blossoming young adults you’ve attempted to craft into analytical thinkers and writers (…so help me God…) are about to fly the coop.
Around this time, I usually start planning when Year 12 and I will have a pizza party (etc.) one lunch, but this year I’ve decided to go for something a little more meaningful. And thanks to a bargain I sourced on eBay, it’ll cost me about the same.
They might not be so happy if they realise that they’re getting a penguin classic as opposed to a pepperoni with stuffed crust. Yet I think it’s more memorable in the long term. So we’re going to do a ‘pot luck dip into the barrel’ to determine whether they end up with the likes of Dickens or Steinbeck or Wells.
There is also an Austen in the mix. I’m yet to decide whether it’s gender stereotyping or not to replace it with something else. I’m being a realist.
However, Austen or not, the bargain buy was a few short in the number of books required, so this saw me perusing the shelves at Dymocks this week to help top up the amount (and buy some books for myself…let’s face it).
While I was perusing the shelves in the bookshop, a mother was there with her two children. And then one of them, a four year old girl, suddenly went missing.
It was late in the day, so there weren’t a heap of people around, but there were enough that you would think that someone would have noticed a young girl without an adult wandering around in the shopping centre. I remained in the store after the mother realised her daughter was missing. She went looking and about five minutes later returned and said she still hadn’t found the girl.
When I exited the store a few minutes later again, the girl still hadn’t reappeared. I wandered around the centre looking for a four year old girl in a blue dress. It was actually quite a chilling moment and you could see the woman with only her son now, trying to remain calm but obviously completely anxious and rightly so.
I’m going to pause and say that I actually don’t know whether the mother found her daughter. As I wandered around the shopping centre I was praying she’d turn up. Sometimes that’s all you can do.
As it was late in the day, the centre management staff had all gone home, so no announcement could be put out over the entire shopping centre. In Dymocks, the mother gave the staff her mobile number, but said that her phone wasn’t working properly at the moment. So if they called her they wouldn’t be able to hear her, but she’d know to come back to the shop. Everything seemed stacked up against her, so I prayed for her.
It reminds me of a song by Don Moen. It’s the kind of song you sing to yourself when everything seems stacked up against you:
God will make a way, where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see, he will make a way for me
He will be my guide, hold me closely to his side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, he will make a way
It flies in the face of the self-empowerment and autonomy modern Western culture says that all individuals have, yet I think it’s more helpful – because I’m a realist.
Yours in a penguin classic,
Image Credit: Image from Twitter