“Just see if the man picks up the check. That’s how you can tell if he’s in love.”
– Bobby, age 9
“Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold. Other people care more about the food.”
– Bart, age 9
“Romantic adults usually are all dressed up, so if they are just wearing jeans, it might mean they used to go out or they just broke up.”
Sarah, age 9
“See if the man has lipstick on his face.”
– Sandra, age 7
“It’s love if they order one of those desserts that are on fire. They like to order those because it’s just like how their hearts are — on fire!”
– Christine, age 9
“One of the people has freckles and so he finds somebody else who has freckles too.”
– Andrew, age 6
“No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.”
– Mae, age 9
“I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be so painful.”
– Manuel, age 8
“Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life!”
– John, age 9
“If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.”
– Glenn, age 7
“If you want to be loved by somebody who isn’t already in your family, it doesn’t hurt to be beautiful.”
– Anita C., age 8
“It isn’t always just how you look. Look at me. I’m handsome like anything and I haven’t got anybody to marry me yet.”
– Brian, age 7
“Beauty is skin deep. But how rich you are can last a long time.”
– Christine, age 9
“Tell them that you own a whole bunch of candy stores.”
– Del, age 6
“Yell out that you love them at the top of your lungs. . .and don’t worry if their parents are right there.”
– Manuel, age 8
“Don’t do things like have smelly, green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain’t the same thing as love.”
– Alonzo, age 9
“One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me.”
– Bart, age 9
“Shake your hips and hope for the best.”
– Camille, age 9
“Love will find you even if you are trying to hide from it. I’ve been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.”
– Dave, age 8

“They want to make sure their rings don’t fall off because they paid good money for them.”
– Gavin, age 8
“They are just practicing for when they might have to walk down the aisle someday and do the holy matchimony thing.”
– John, age 9
“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.”
– Greg, age 8
A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. All of a sudden he said out loud, “Lord, grant me one wish.” Suddenly the sky clouded above his head, and in a booming voice the Lord said, “Because you have TRIED to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.” The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want to.”
The Lord said, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for wordly things. Take a little more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me.”
The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know how they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing,’ and how I can make a woman truly happy.”
After a few minutes God said, “You want two or four lanes on that bridge?”

My Forgetter

My forgetter’s getting better
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke

For when I’m “here” I’m wondering
If I really should be “there”
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven’t got a prayer!

Oft times I walk into a room,
Say, “What am I here for?”
I rack my brain, but all in vain
A zero is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say “Hi” and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, “Who was that?”

The Dance of a Lifetime – True
By David Coleman and Kevin Randall
In the summer recess between freshman and sophomore years in college, I was invited to be an instructor at a high school leadership camp hosted by a college in Michigan. I was already highly involved in most campus activities, and I jumped at the opportunity.
About an hour into the first day of camp, amid the frenzy of icebreakers and forced interactions, I first noticed the boy under the tree. He was small and skinny, and his obvious discomfort and shyness made him appear frail and fragile. Only 50 feet away, 200 eager campers were bumping bodies, playing, joking and meeting each other, but the boy under the tree seemed to want to be anywhere other than where he was. The desperate loneliness he radiated almost stopped me from approaching him, but I remembered the instructions from the senior staff to stay alert for campers who might feel left out.
As I walked toward him I said, “Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m one of the counselors. It’s nice to meet you. How are you?”
In a shaky, sheepish voice he reluctantly answered, “Okay, I guess.”
I calmly asked him if he wanted to join the activities and meet some new people. He quietly replied, “No, this is not really my thing.”
I could sense that he was in a new world, that this whole experience was foreign to him. But I somehow knew it wouldn’t be right to push him, either. He didn’t need a pep talk, he needed a friend. After several silent moments, my first interaction with the boy under the tree was over.
At lunch the next day, I found myself leading camp songs at the top of my lungs for 200 of my new friends. The campers were eagerly participated. My gaze wandered over the mass of noise and movement and was caught by the image of the boy from under the tree, sitting alone, staring out the window. I nearly forgot the words to the song I was supposed to be leading. At my first opportunity, I tried again, with the same questions as before: “How are you doing? Are you okay?”
To which he again replied, “Yeah, I’m alright. I just don’t really get into this stuff”.
As I left the cafeteria, I too realized this was going to take more time and effort than I had thought – if it was even possible to get through to him at all.
That evening at our nightly staff meeting, I made my concerns about him known. I explained to my fellow staff members my impression of him and asked them to pay special attention and spend time with him when they could.
The days I spend at camp each year fly by faster than any others I have known. Thus, before I knew it, mid-week had dissolved into the final night of camp and I was chaperoning the “last dance”. The students were doing all they could to savor every last moment with their new “best friends” – friends they would probably never see again.
As I watched the campers share their parting moments, I suddenly saw what would be one of the most vivid memories of my life. The boy from under the tree, who stared blankly out the kitchen window, was now a shirtless dancing wonder. He owned the dance floor as he and two girls proceeded to cut up a rug. I watched as he shared meaningful, intimate time with people at whom he couldn’t even look just days earlier. I couldn’t believe it was him.
In October of my sophomore year, a late-night phone call pulled me away from my chemistry book. A soft-spoken, unfamiliar voice asked politely, “Is Kevin there?”
“You’re talking to him. Who’s this?”
“This is Tom Johnson’s mom. Do you remember Tommy from leadership camp?
The boy under the tree. How could I not remember?
“Yes, I do”, I said. “He’s a very nice young man. How is he?”
An abnormally long pause followed, then Mrs. Johnson said, “My Tommy was walking home from school this week when he was hit by a car and killed.” Shocked, I offered my condolences.
“I just wanted to call you”, she said, “because Tommy mentioned you so many times. I wanted you to know that he went back to school this fall with confidence. He made new friends. His grades went up. And he even went out on a few dates. I just wanted to thank you for making a difference for Tom. The last few months were the best few months of his life.”
In that instant, I realized how easy it is to give a bit of yourself every day. You may never know how much each gesture may mean to someone else. I tell this story as often as I can, and when I do, I urge others to look out for their own “boy under the tree.”