Sunday, 22 July 2007

Word Pictures

I have the opportunity to serve in our ward primary presidency. Most of the time I miss Relief Society. I love being with the sisters. That said, Primary is where it's at. I don't believe there is anywhere else in the church where the spirit is felt so readily as the Primary. I can't count the number of times I've wished I could take a picture or video recording of the priceless moments we experience every week.

Today one of our eleven year old boys came to me after church asking if he could give a five minute talk on faith for the sacrament meeting presentation in the fall. How many adults would volunteer for the same task? I'd love to capture on film all the little talks given by the sunbeams (or their mothers :) . And the music. That is when the room is at its most peaceful and our hearts are truly touched.

Being summer, we had a lot of visitors today, and most of them seemed to fall in the same age bracket. Our ten and eleven year old classes are combined because one of our teachers moved away, and we haven't been able to replace her. So the class is big anyway. When I took the visiting children to the classroom and looked in my jaw dropped. The good brother (he's in his late sixties) who teaches this class already had a roomful and with the extra I brought him, he ended up with 17 children. I looked at him and asked if he would need any help. He just smiled at me. "We are fine." Then he looked at each of the children. "These are choice spirits who are here to learn." I wish I could have taken a picture of this faithful brother and the eager faces of those children. He was fine and they did learn.

So here is where being a writer comes in handy. I couldn't capture on film the moment when the eighteen people in that room looked at me, eager to teach and learn. I couldn't record the excitement in the young voice that volunteered for a talk. But I can paint a word picture that will perfectly describe the day. The faces of the children and teacher will come readily to my mind every time I read about them. I can describe the feelings in the room when the children sing.

And that is what writing is all about. Capturing a moment. Portraying an emotion that is so real you feel as if you are experiencing it for the first time. And when you can get others to read it and understand that moment and feeling, then the writing becomes real. It becomes more than just words on a page.


Janette Rallison said...

There are some picture-perfect moments in nursury too--but generally they involve children doing things like trying to shove puzzle pieces up their noses--which makes for an entirely different picture.

Aneeka said...

Ah, this is so true. I just wish I was better at describing things.

Brillig said...

Beautiful post! I find that I generally drop the kids off at Primary and then run for my life--feeling very grateful for the amazing people and their special talents with my children.

Thanks for popping in at my blog today! It's great to "meet" you!

Stephanie said...

I don't have any special talents with the kids. Maybe that is why I am there, I need to learn some. Thanks for coming by. I love reading your blog.

ali said...

I loved this Stephanie - thank you! My MIL and FIL teach the ten and eleven year olds and they are 84 and 79 respectively. They are always sharing with me special experiences they have with this kids, who otherwise might appear to be rowdy or careless. They may be that, but they are so much more too ... they are 'choice spirits who are there to learn'.

And you are so right about the word pictures. Sweet!

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