NPR reports a delightful story about the poet, Billy Collins, and a three-year old fan, Samuel Chelpka.
It seems Samuel liked the sound of some of Billy Collins' poetry, so much so, in fact, that he memorized a couple of his poems, and his parents posted a recitation on YouTube videos. By the time of NPR's report (Nov. 9), the video had received 320,000 hits.
Billy Collins was delighted to meet his youngest admirer at a poetry workshop at the University of Arizona, where Samuel recited yet another of his favorite Collins' pieces. Collins remarked, "It's just an astounding realization of how a poem can travel away from your desk, away from the room you wrote it in and find its way into all these corners of life, and find its way into the mind of a 3-year old child...It's just very moving."
NPR's correspondent hastens to add, "Of course, Samuel's love of words and poetry doesn't just spring forth spontaneously. It's there because his parents expose him to it."
And here's the important point for believers. God has crafted His glorious, marvelous, powerful Word - the reflection and message of His beautiful Son and the salvation He has obtained for all who believe. That Word has gone out from His desk, out from His throne-room, but whether or not it will be received with the kind of delight Samuel Chelpka experiences at the poetry of Billy Collins depends on those who bear that message to the world.
Are we making the Word of God delightful to the people around us? As we live that Word, converse with and relate to others in ways informed and illumined by that Word, and share the wonders and glories of that Word with our neighbors, are they sufficiently piqued and excited to take that Word into their own hearts and minds, and make the Gospel their own? Are there people today delighting in God, and in being able to tell Him so, because we have been as dutiful, faithful, and persuasive as Samuel Chelpka's parents?
Christians occupy the middle point of the message loop. God sends His Word out, and the loop only closes when those who delight in that Word return praise and thanks to Him. Whether they will or not depends on us.
T. M. Moore