Gabriel the angel boy

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My sweet little church was feeding and loving on a group of children when my beloved took on the roll of pastor back in the spring.

I have heard the quote, “ You have never lived until you have done something for someone who can never pay you back.”

These precious people were pouring the love (and word) of God into the lives of children who do not bring in money and for the most part never have parents attend with them. This was a phenomenal thing to witness.

On the first Wednesday night we attended, I was amazed as a large group of children, mostly boys, burst though the door of our fellowship hall and scrambled for a place at the long table where a simple sandwich and hand full of chips had been provided. They were a rowdy group, the youngest maybe five, the oldest topping out at eleven. They were as loud as a bunch of gunslingers from the wild west.

After one of our leaders wrangled them in for a blessing they dug in to their supper like it was a feast set for kings. I sat down at the table across from a little cherub named “Gabriel.” I asked him if he knew he had an angel’s name. He said he did and proceeded to tell me something I wasn’t sure I understood through his mouth full of peanut butter and jelly. He looked just like the childhood pictures I’d seen of my grown up angel namesake, dark hair, big blue eyes, missing teeth. He won me. I knew I had to be a part of whatever God had for us to do at Airview Baptist because this little angel boy.

For the last few weeks I have been trying to resurrect a children’s choir. I am surprised this group (still, mostly boys) want to sing and dance. They are hard to handle for sure! It takes about six adults to keep them from catapulting off the alter or literally jumping the pews. We have been richly blessed with help, but we covet prayers for patience.

Last Sunday little Gabriel was sitting next to me during the service. My son, Seth, was playing guitar then went over to play the piano. Gabriel was so impressed that someone could do both that he got really close to my face and said, “Is he gonna play THAT too?” I nodded yes. He asked who that tall boy was. I told him he was my boy, but I bet he would be a good friend to a little guy who liked music.

After the service Gabe went up to Seth and asked him, “Will you be my friend?” Of course, Seth couldn’t resist. Then he asked if he would come on Wednesday nights to sing with them, a feat I have failed to accomplish. Seth couldn’t refuse that either.

Chalk up another point for the angel boy. I now have an accompanist for perhaps the wildest children’s choir a Baptist church has ever seen.

And little Gabriel has given me a gift I will never be able to repay.

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