Born of God, Part 6 - Come to the Light
Light has come
People loved darkness.
People fear exposure.
I didn’t try to push Franky to do activities he shied away from. I let the current of the group’s interests move him along with us. But I really wanted Franky to enjoy swimming with the group. Although he knew how to swim, every afternoon that we went to the pool Franky refused to go in. When I asked him to join us he would say, “My mom says I have to put on my swimsuit, but I don’t have to swim.” He would just circle the pool on his tip toes, belly bouncing with each step, repeating this pat answer to himself.
One day as Franky was circling I got inspired to try a new tactic. I got down on my knees in his pathway and purposely disrupted his routine. “Franky,” I asked, “will you go swimming today?”
“My mom says I have to put on my swimsuit, but I don’t have to swim.”
“I know Franky. You don’t have to swim.”
“That’s right. I don’t have to swim. My mom says I don’t have to.”
“Franky, I know you don’t have to swim; you get to swim.”
Franky seemed disconcerted by the variation in our well-practiced dialog. A small crowd of fellow campers was now waiting to see how the conversation would turn out.
“I don’t have to swim,” he repeated.
“But you get to swim,” I continued. We tried these new lines out a few more times.
Then Franky Moore’s face took on an unusual look of pleasure. He announced with conviction, “I don’t have to swim. I get to swim.” He repeated his new mantra and then, before an astonished little crowd, jumped into the pool! You should have heard the applause.
I can still remember Franky’s beaming face bobbing up to the water’s surface after his first jump. “It’s cold, Tim!” he yelled, treading water vigorously.
“I know Franky. But after you get used to it, you’ll like it.”
“I already like it, Tim.”