The things you can learn from building things

Building. I learned a whole bunch about building on my last trip to Tupelo.

Chicken coops, brick walls and a boy and his dream were some of the things I saw being constructed. And it was good.

Chickens and walls aside I’d like to share about a boy and his dream. My 10-year-old grandson Emil is a dreamer. He will take a long walk and come back with insights about what he encountered and it’ll make you want to get some red clay between your toes.

He has decided he wants to put into story form some of his thoughts. He is writing a novel. No joke. I watched him at his computer searching for what he called a “sensory adjective” to bring his story line to life. Every night he tries to write at least a page.

I felt very honored to have him ask me to read what he’d written so far. Spelling aside, I wanted to cry. I thought about the Apostle Paul telling young Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

This little boy is aptly capturing on paper a story about a fellow and his dog, but hidden in the middle was subtle look at a bullied child. It looked awful until a boy he didn’t even know came to his aide. Emil has been both. He is building a story of experience and kindness rules in the bricks and mortar of his writing.

After I had read almost all of his chapters, his dad came in and asked Emil and me to come sit on the back porch. Now, they live way out in the boonies where street lights haven’t made their appearance. So the sky sparkles in a way you just can’t see in town.

We sat in the stillness of this sultry night and simply listened, taking in the night with all of our senses. Then Zach said, “Let’s take turns making this come alive in words.”

It was a lesson in listening and learning to make an experience live. My old mind has simplified and just digs at trying to find the right words, but a daddy and his son rolled out a field of dreams in the night.

Now, that’ll preach on so many levels. But for now, I was thinking how wonderful it is to see things being built. Whether it’s a story being laid out by a young boy or a friendship forming a foundation because of a young boy’s desire to see the underdog protected. Maybe, it’s a dad teaching his son how to become a story builder by listening and being still. Whatever, it is good.

Our story is being built moment on top of moment. Everyday is a new beginning and a brand new page to be constructed. It’s always a better day when I spend time with my Father God. I think of the words of scripture, which capture building well… “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 23:3-4 Building…and it is good.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.