It’s Cameron’s first Colourstrings music class. I sneak in at the back, with Scott, for the last ten minutes. Cam doesn’t know I’m there. Seven or eight Grade 0s sit in a circle on the carpet. Mrs Pienaar is the teacher and she’s playing a musical farm game.
With seamless inclusion – gentle intuition – she shows Cam each small plastic animal before putting it on the carpet. She doesn’t speak too loudly, or like he’s stupid. Some people just get it, and she’s one of them. His friends wait patiently. While. He. Looks. They trust without needing to understand.
Now Mrs Pienaar is the farmer and she is so tired. She feigns exhaustion and closes her eyes to rest – whispering that each kid should take an animal and hide it. She’ll sing in a minute – the sing-song first interval – ‘Whose got the donkey?’ And the hider of the donkey will sing the interval back to her – ‘I’ve got the donkey.’ And so on. Small delighted fists grab – clutch cattle and poultry close and the farmyard is empty. Cam strains to search the carpet – feels for sharp plastic – ‘Hey,’ he says.
Mia sees Cam not seeing. ‘Here Cameron.’ She gives him her cow.
Now Mia doesn’t have one. But, well, no worries. Calm and content.
Liam sees Mia seeing Cam not seeing. He took two animals so he gives one to Mia. Everyone is sorted.
All this in a matter of moments before the farmer opens her eyes. And I see in this microcosm of holiness tiny humans getting something right that grownups seldom do. I see in these five-turning-six year-olds love without coercion or incentive and how church can be a community not an audience and how highest worship – lowly obedience – is a lifestyle not an event and I think there are tiny crowns being forged and bejewelled in eternity.