A Simple Song

August 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Anna Cannard –

Rosy red cheeks, blond curls, pink hair ties, a blue dress, and ballet slippers made an adorable outfit. But it was impossible not to notice the slobber and snot that drooled down and around her tear drenched face. This was the sight I saw when I first met “Jenna.” Colossians 3:17 tells us to do everything in the name of Jesus. Jenna showed me how simple that could be.

I came to her seventh foster home as a child welfare intern assigned to take Jenna to visit her mother. Jenna, only a year old, had already been diagnosed with stranger anxiety, separation anxiety, and chronic fatigue. She had been several months without seeing her mother. I wondered if Jenna would recognize her.

Due to her severe anxieties, I’d been prepared for hitting, biting, and screaming when I put her in the car. I prayed that God would give the child peace when she saw me. I’d prayed this before for other kids who had anxiety and it always worked.

Sure enough, here I was, standing at the doorway facing Jenna. She saw me, clung to her foster mom, and wailed. I knelt and stretched out my arms. “Let’s go have some fun!” Jenna released her grip and walked to me. I scooped her up and out to the car. She wrapped her arms around me and rubbed her head against my neck.

At a stop light, I turned and tried to comfort the sobbing Jenna by talking to her. It didn’t work. Then I began to sing in a jolly manner, “Twinkle, twinkle little star.” Jenna’s cries ceased instantly. “How I wonder what you are.”

“Ha. Ha.” The tiny little girl let out a giggle for the first time. Down the road, I continued overdramatically singing the song, and Jenna laughed at every word. Going through the office door, I sang as upbeat as possible. Jenna’s tears dried and she laughed with a bright smile when we met her mother in the hallway. Instantly Jenna hid and cried again.

I sat in the playroom with Jenna and her mother, making sure the visit went safely, and Jenna continuously cried and attempted to cling to me. Her mother shared with me her feelings of frustration that her daughter was so avoidant of her. Near the end of the visit, I thought about the song again, and encouraged her mother to sing it. Amazingly, as her mother hummed the lyrics, Jenna popped her head up and slowly drew closer to her mom. The time came for Jenna to leave. Her mother thanked me for telling her about the song.

Five more times I would see Jenna. Each time she greeted me with a smile and hug. Two of those times, she enjoyed her mother singing to her and three times I sang to comfort her as we left because her mother decided not to show up. Six months I would go without seeing the girl before I was told to pick her up for her father to see.

I was amazed when she greeted me, “Nah Nuh (Anna).”

I drove down the road and she mumbled and waved her hands. No way. She remembered the song. I sang it out and she lowered her hands and laughed.

Her father would also disappoint her by quitting his visits. These times I sang a new song to comfort her as she cried, “Jesus loves me this I know….”

A simple song. A simple act for Jesus. Yet it brought comfort to a child. I hope this will encourage you to do small things for Jesus too.

About Anna Cannard

Aspiring novelist, who finds new adventures everyday. Born in California, raised in Oregon, just now starting a new adventure of college life in Oklahoma. Simple goal in life; to leave every single person better off for meeting me.
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One Response to “A Simple Song”
  1. Lynn Large says:

    Anna, this was an awesome story. You have a gift for expressing yourself. Thanks for not only sharing your experience but giving some suggestions for practical ministry. It’s so easy and non-threatening to sing a little song and it can make such a life difference to people.

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