Each Easter Season the church that Kenny's family attended marked Palm Sunday with all the children of the congregation entering the sanctuary together, waving palm branches as they came down the aisle, while the adults sang hymns that had been passed down from generation to generation. The part the children loved best was the tiny lamb borrowed from a local farmer, which was carried in the arms one of the older children leading the procession. The one chosen to carry the lamb was always the envy of the other children. When they reached the altar, the lamb was placed in a small pen that had been prepared for it. Each child placed their palm branch in front of the pen, then reached out to pet the lamb before taking a seat along side their family in the pew.
Every year Kenny had hobbled along in the procession with his palm frond resting in his tote bag, secured to the strap. How he dreamed of having his hands free to wave his palm branch as the other children did, more often than not tapping them on the head of the child in front of them, causing parents to stifle smiles. As it was, he was barely able to walk down the aisle holding tightly to the handles of his crutches without tripping over the many feet around him. The youth pastor tried hard to keep them all walking slow and spaced apart, but being children they tended to speed up and crowd together as they moved along.
The year that Kenny was ten, the lamb chosen for the procession came from their farm, with Kenny being allowed to select the most perfect baby from their flock. He spent Saturday afternoon helping his father bathe and groom it, and was so excited for the Palm Sunday Service that he had a hard time falling asleep. He couldn't wait to find out who the pastor had chosen to lead the procession; he hoped it would be someone that loved that little lamb as much as he did, and would carry it gently, not squeezing it too tight.
When they arrived at church the next morning, Kenny was wearing his Sunday best - dress pants, shined shoes, a white shirt, and a tie. He fell into line with a group of children waiting to receive their palm branches while his mother stood nearby to help him secure his safely in his bag. Much to Kenny's surprise, when he approached the youth pastor who was handing out the palms, he was led to the very front of the procession. There waiting for him was a small basket on wheels that looked like it had been fashioned from a shopping cart. It had been covered with palm leaves, and nestled in the soft bed of greenery lay his own little lamb.
Supporting himself with the cart, Kenny was able to move forward slowly without the need of his crutches. There wasn't a dry eye in the church as he came down the aisle beaming proudly, pushing the cart bearing the precious lamb. As the children got closer to the altar the adults nearest the aisle grew silent, witnessing a miracle transpiring before their eyes... Kenny was walking more upright with each step. By the time he reached the front he was putting no weight at all on the cart handle, but was pushing it along in front of him as he walked freely behind. Reaching the altar, Kenny bent over and scooped up the little lamb in his arms. Climbing the two steps on his own, he placed it gently in it's pen.
"Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."
I'm linking up with Msrupole's Theme Thursday
And with Brenda Youngerman's Pondering With A Purpose
where this week's writing prompt is "green"