Changing relationships, unchanging love

Another installment in Director of Religious Education Fred Mills’s series “A Voice from the Little Chair.”

This Sunday Fred carried a picture book with him when he lowered himself into the little chair.

“This morning I will read a story,” he said. “I don’t usually just read. I really like to tell stories. But this story is so good just the way it is that I don’t want to miss a word.”

With that Fred opened the book and started to read Now One Foot, Now the Other, by Tomie dePaola. This is a story about Bobby and his best friend, his Grandfather Bob. The first word that Bobby spoke was “Bob,” and when Bobby learned to walk it was Bob who held his hand. Bob always said, “Now one foot, now the other.”

Shortly after Bobby’s fifth birthday, Bob suffered a stroke, and his recovery was very slow. Bobby knew that Bob recognized him, so he would play the same game he and Bob had played, stacking blocks only to have them fall down when Bobby placed the elephant block on top.

Slowly Bob’s speech came back. One day Bob stood up, and Bobby knew what he wanted to do. Bob placed his hands on Bobby’s shoulders and Bobby said, “Now one foot, now the other.” Before Bobby’s sixth birthday Bob could walk to the edge of the yard.

Just as the relationship between Bob and Bobby changed, our own relationships with each other change all the time. The love we feel for one another stays, and that love is very good.

(Please click here for a lesson plan about Now One Foot, Now the Other.)