Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Old and Ugly

On one occasion, I spoke to a large group of teenagers in a church in Detroit. In the beginning of my short talk I said something like, “I am sorry you have to listen to an old, ugly missionary.” One of the young people in the front row said, “You are not so old.” He didn’t say anything about not being ugly!

I phoned a friend recently whose grandchildren we had met the day before. One of the granddaughters answered the phone and I said, “I’m Mr. Nichols, the tall, ugly man you met yesterday.” She said, “Oh yeah, I remember you!”

On some occasion, I had settled down for a four-hour flight on a large DC-10 hoping to catch up on some reading. As the plane began to taxi down the runway, one of the flight attendants made her way down the aisle for her last check on the passengers. She suddenly noticed a lady with two babies, one without adequate seat belt security.

The plane was gathering speed so she quickly took the smallest baby from the mother and looked around for one of the passengers to hold it during take-off. The other passengers looked away, but I wasn’t quick enough! Catching my eye, the stewardess thanked me as she handed me the ugliest baby I have ever seen (excuse me for saying this). The baby was asleep, but did it ever make noise!

I began to read through the baby noises and 20 minutes went by, 30 minutes went by, and then 40. I finally got up and went looking for the mother. Finding her five rows up, I asked, “Is this baby yours?” She looked up surprised and said, “Oh, I forgot all about him!”

I have thought about this incident many times. Yes, we may be small in the world’s eyes and so ugly our own mothers forget us, but God’s arms are always stretched out to hold us, and He will never drop or leave or ever forget us!

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