To all Davids

My daughter recently reminded me of something about the heart muscle. A few months ago, she started band, equipped with the flute my dad bought me in High School–solid silver second-hand beauty with as many problems as a third-hand car. While a very nice instrument, it needs some very expensive repairs. Sometimes it won’t grab a note, and because all the pads need replaced, the tone is airy.

Practice only discouraged Chloe because her efforts were thwarted by the $350 worth of hiccups in the keys, so she often put it away after five minutes of frustration. (Did I mention we were anticipating our insurance deductible roll over where one of our son’s three medications cost $1,000 a bottle?)push-ups-888024_1280 But she wanted to perform a duet at her years-end concert, in which she had to audition with a handicapped flute, so she called her partner, and together they practiced over speaker phone with a few asthmatic notes. Chloe just decided she would make it–and she did.

So I’m thinking about this as John and I watch the trillionth season of Survivor, and there’s this really skinny guy, David, who looks like he lifts no more than a pencil each day, and is an anxious sort, kind of like our Chloe. He was afraid of bugs and loud noises. The first time I saw him attempt a challenge among several muscled men and women, I thought something jerkified like, “pffft.” But this guy, he started to make friends and somewhere along the way he finds confidence. Then he decides he’s going to succeed.

He doesn’t win, but he comes very close, and even wins a few challenges–yes, even those that require strength, endurance, and, well–I think it boils down to sheer will power. He started to outlast the walking muscles and the born-to-live-outdoors types.

The reason he didn’t win (although I would call his evolution a success)? The other players voted him off because he was the biggest threat out there. The guy who once trembled at the sight of a bird.

What is your Goliath? Exercise that heart muscle.

Noah and Goliath

My son tears through the house with his cape on. I still see a chubby-cheeked baby, but he is not. He is Superhero Noah. He is Thor, defeating the villains, Spiderman protecting his home from invaders.

When I sit him down to practice his letters, he frowns. Even S for Superhero doesn’t capture his attention.

“I need to get the bad guys, Mommy.”

I admit, I have concerns about him starting school in the fall. Is he ready? His legs don’t want to be tamed, they want to run, they want to pedal his bike…he is energy wrapped up in uncontrolled blond hair and smears of ketchup.DSCF1156

He does love books though. He will soak in a story—sitting still—and learn from any kind of adventure, especially if there is some kind of battle.

But if it’s not akin to The Very Hungry Dinosaur or Tyson the Terrible, he has no interest in learning the traditional way.

We read about David. David is a superhero for sure—small guy beats huge giant—Noah is all kinds of excited about that.

Something pops out at me about this story so I dig into it a little more—I even open a book I had waiting on my kindle and begin making my way to the heart of this small King, because no matter how often I have heard about him, flannel-board memories keep popping up and it loses something.

Until I focus on the slingshot.

It’s the slingshot. David doesn’t bat an eye at the seasoned soldiers or worry about his lack of experience. He doesn’t even consider that he doesn’t have a sword like everyone else has.

He hasn’t been schooled in battle. He is a harp-playing Shepherd.

I don’t think he cares about what he lacks. No—he draws upon who his God is, and the tools that God has placed before him and pulls out all he has.

Thump. He kills Goliath with a child’s toy.

I’ve decided not to worry about Noah (as long as I think of David). Because God gave him those busy legs and fighting spirit, and somehow, somewhere down the road, he will face a giant. And hopefully he will remember who God is. Hopefully he will remember that who he is and what he has is more than enough.

What’s your slingshot? Tell us in the comments.