I'm sitting at Whataburger, taking up a whole corner with my tribe of six- most of us wearing our AWANA shirts. A gentleman passes by on his way out wearing skull cap and shawl; he smiles slightly at us and I incline my head in acknowledgment. A couple of minutes later he returns with a set of toy fairy\butterfly wings and wand and offers them to me for my little ones. I accept, wondering where this will go and he tells us he is a missionary and asks my name and where I am from. I briefly explain and ask where he's from- Wisconsin. Did I ask his name? No- I'm an awful conversationalist with strangers. He asks how many kids I have and I claim all six and then he asks what their giftings are. Um, I'm not sure what he's looking for and say so but I can't find the words to explain that while my husband and I are always trying to discern the gifts God has blessed our children with- I don't like to discuss them lest they feel like their being compared or compartmentalized. (We talk about them one-on-one or as a family, but I *try* not to say "this is the organized one, this one is the people-person" in front of them to others) Aimee pipes up with a wave and "hello" and he delightedly says she's a greeter. Well, that sounds ok. Then he goes on to explain we must give wings to our children and how the butterfly starts off as a gentle, crawling creature that becomes a beautiful butterfly. Okay... I just sit there smiling and nodding my head- and not thinking of anything to say. He finishes off by thanking me for blessing the world with my children; I smile and nod and thank him for the wings\wand. He says "blessings to you" and Alex pipes up with "God bless you" as he walks out the door.
I'm sitting there thinking- I wish Tartan had been here! He would have continued the conversation and asked questions and at least found out who he was a missionary for.
Alex steps away from the table for a moment and then I notice the man's keys sitting on my table. Without really thinking, I send Aidan outside with them thinking that the man must be out in the parking lot and has not realized yet that he's missing his keys. Aidan starts across the lot and I have a moment of panic- I have no idea if this guy is who he presents himself as and I just sent my son out there alone. Fortunately I can see them clearly from where I'm sitting and it's obvious I'm watching intently. As Aidan hands over the keys, they speak briefly and then he walks off. According to Aidan, he was parked at the car wash and was searching the ground around his car when he came out. Aidan says he was told to help his mom, do his chores and be an example to his sisters.
So *now* I'm wondering- was he a Jew, a messianic Jew, or none of the above? Did he recognize our AWANA shirts or did he just guess that since Alex and Aidan's shirts said "Truth and Training", we believed there is such a thing as truth and it's worth training our children to know? Considering the size of our family, did he think we were Mormon or Catholic? *sigh* Wish Tartan had been there.
Naomi for the Colliers