It was Friday once more. The “special four” sat in the front row, their smiles in place. Beside them on a table were the exhibits. The class was in full attendance. “Show and tell” will begin soon.
The four children will each take 10 minutes or less to tell the class why their exhibit was unique. There will be plenty of room for laughs, teasers and questions. And finally, the teacher will sum up the hour with some thoughts that would linger in their minds. for a long time.
Pranav walked to the table. He picked up his round fish bowl which had a fan-tailed blue fighter circling. “This is my pet fish called Fabi. I am not sure of his age but I know he has a bad temper and a good appetite. He is a strong swimmer, can blow bubbles and sometimes change colour. I love him very much. Here I have some food for him,” Pranav said drawing out from his pocket a plastic container of multi-coloured edible pellets. He dropped a few into the bowl and Fabi shot up to eat them.
There was spontaneous applause. Amrita, who was the next, had brought a sapling in a mud pot. She had wrapped the pot with silver foil and streaks of gold paper hung from the edges. She lifted up the pot and said, “Till yesterday, my sapling had only five leaves. This morning two more leaves sprouted and these are the ones.” She touched the tip of the tender yellow leaves. Everyone clapped. “This neem sapling will one day grow to be a mighty tree. Now it needs me to give it water. When it is a big tree and its roots are strong it will find water on its own.”
It was Sneha's turn and she jumped up with her water bottle, ran to the table and grabbed the empty glass she had left there. The class looked puzzled. She turned around and said, “I have got milk in this bottle.” Sneha poured the milk into the glass. Everyone was eager to hear what she would say next. “Can you all see this powder?” Sneha unfolded a tiny piece of paper. Sneha dusted the powder into the glass of milk. The milk was no more white; it was pink. Sneha took a sip from the glass and exclaimed: “This is rose milk!” The room erupted with “Oh's” and “Ah's”.
Deepak had brought a toy — a drummer. “This toy is my uncle's gift from Japan. It operates on four batteries. You can hear the drums go real loud when I switch on the toy after placing the batteries in the socket.” Deepak fixed the batteries into the toy and when he turned it on, there was no stopping the drummer. The class cheered.
The teacher stood facing the students; everyone was smiling. “Did you all enjoy the ‘show and tell'?” She knew what they would say. “Amrita cares for her sapling and Pranav loves his angry fish. They do not just say it but they show it. How? Amrita nurtures the sapling with water and Pranav gives his fish what it likes to eat. Just as we all love and care for the things we like, God too loves and cares for us. And He showed it by laying down his life on the cross to save us. Jesus lived on the earth to personally witness people's struggles. He saw how everyone was sad, sick and in need of something or the other. By his death on the cross — the day we remember as Good Friday — he took upon himself the suffering of this world. Sneha could have wasted the milk, instead she found a way of using it.”
When the teacher paused to welcome questions, there was none. She continued: “How many of you noticed how Deepak placed the batteries in the toy? The batteries will make the toy work only when they are placed in a particular way — the positive and negative energies pass through — if not, both the toy and the batteries are of no use. Only by trusting that God takes care of us at all times, we can be happy. “Who is happy today?”
All the hands went up.
Keywords: children's writing