Chuck is investing in Charis’ reading skills. To do so, they were going to begin a “chapter” book (which is a big deal in third grade) and take turns reading aloud. Chuck suggested Winnie the Pooh but Charis adamantly refused, saying that book was for babies.
We were surprised by this reaction because the original story, as opposed to the videos, is beautifully written with great insight and challenging human dynamics. Yes, I said Winnie the Pooh. But her frame of reference is the modern Pooh cartoons that do not always capture the brilliance of author, A.A. Milne.
Anyway, Chuck suggested that he read the first chapter out loud and if she still didn’t want that book, then they would find another. Complete with voices and beautiful “Pooh-isms,” Chuck carried Charis away to the 100 Acre Wood. At the end of the first chapter, he began closing the book but Charis quickly protested. “One more chapter, Dad, please?”
The plan worked and the adventure continued for days. But really, the goal was for Charis to be strengthened as she read alone.
On Saturday we all grabbed books to take to the pool. Charis milled around and then grabbed Winnie the Pooh. Chuck and I smiled at each other. Success. Chuck praised her for being such a good reader and they exchanged inside jokes about their shared reading.
It was such a fleeting moment but it rang in my soul. God has such good stuff for us but we have dulled our taste buds for His original story with our modern day cartoons. Yet undeterred, Jesus entices and pulls us in and whisks us away on an adventure. All the while, Holy Spirit is working, lovingly working on some weakness in us so that we might be stronger. And when we trust Him, listen and follow His example, when we allow ourselves to be swept away, then we find ourselves doing more than we thought we could. And what does God do? He praises us. He encourages us onward, forward, deeper. What a God! What a Father, Savior, Friend!
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”