a column dedicated to the folks in the pews
Written by Dale Buchanan
Probably most of you are wondering who is this? Well, Mollie is definitely one of us—certainly a member of our church family. The thing is, she is nine years old.
At this juncture, it might be appropriate to give some background. I thought when I started this “pew person”s venture my biggest challenge would be writing the essay. Wrong! It turns out that the most important part of the process, as well as the most rewarding, is the interview. Not that there is a shortage of you in the pews who serve faithfully. My problem is choosing from the abundance. I find myself constantly observing and considering who would allow me to interview them.
On the last Friday of June around 10 a.m., I was scouting for an interview and stopped by the Big Red fellowship hall where the Pantry volunteers were distributing free food. It was there I met Mollie. She was busy. I was impressed. I watched in amazement as this young lady focused on helping make the passing out of food a rewarding experience for all involved.
Mollie stationed herself out of the way and when things got scattered and out of order, she rearranged the tables so that when the next folks arrived they were greeted by tables appearing to have been prepared just for them.
Mollie’s mother Kim graciously allowed me to interview this sensitive youngster via telephone. I found her to be delightfully precocious while at the same time innocently child-like. This scribe had a list of questions probably more appropriate for a child of the 1950’s.
I asked what according to my template was a simple query, “Tell me about your family.” After a moment of silence, these words came softly across the line, “Well, that gets complicated. You see I have two sets of parents and five siblings.” This interviewer was staggered at that answer. Family is complicated. “Out of the mouths of babes” became at that moment the focus of my discussion with this charming child.
“Mollie, what are your favorite things to do?” “I like to help others,” which I guess explains her presence at the Pantry’s free food Friday. At this point Mom prompted with, “He wants to know what you do for fun.” “Oh, I also like art, swimming, and acting.” I can tell you right now that helping others would not have been on my list of favorite things when I was nine!?
I asked, “What are your goals for the future?” Without hesitation she answered, “I am going to be an activist and sing happy songs.” There were more questions and more unexpected answers, but it seems to me that the phrase “activist and happy songs” captivates Mollie’s personality and gives me a perfect place to wrap up this interview.
Jesus when speaking of children said, “Of such are the kingdom of heaven.” Just perhaps those of us who are adults should concentrate on being more like them. They are not just our future; they are—in every sense of the word—our present.
Dale Buchanan is a member of FCCF with a passion for stories and writing. In between penning his own memoirs, he is helping us get to know our members, one pew at a time.