The loneliest, homeliest little Waddif experiences Grace and changes forever.
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Themes: Acceptance, Friendship, Grace
She: This is sort of a Gospel romance. (Pause)
Narrator: Lo these many moons ago, little children, in the nearly middle of the deepest continent, lived an odd little race of creatures who walked on two legs and spoke with long facesthe celebrated Waddif Tribe of the Central Lowlands.
Interpreter: The Waddifs were largely ignored by other creatures. And that’s no huge surprise, little children, for they were largely ignored by other Waddifs too.
Narrator: It was an ignorant tribe.
Interpreter: And, too, it was a sad race of creatures, so saddened by thoughts of future calamity that they rarely smiled.
Narrator: It was also a timid race of creatures, so afraid of failing that they rarely got started at doing, and instead spent the endless days simpering with questions:
He: Waddif I fail?
Interpreter: Waddif this doesn’t work out?
He: Waddif people don’t like me?
Narrator: The Waddif Tribe spent more time worrying than living. The Waddif Tribe didn’t stay together much…every blessed one was paralyzed by pondersome fears.
She: The Waddif Tribe was in grave danger of dying out.
He: So waddif we do die out?
Interpreter: Waddif nobody ever even remembers us?
He: Waddif it never made any difference anyway?
Narrator: The Waddifs were very lonely creatures, even when they were together.
He: Waddif I make a fool of myself?
Narrator: And yes, because of their long faces the Waddif looked very homely, even to their own kind.
He: Waddif my own mother thinks I’m ugly?
Narrator: Of course, a Waddif’s own mother never answered. For she was too busy asking:
She: Waddif my own mother thinks I’m ugly?
Interpreter: It was a hard and lonely life the Waddifs lived.
Narrator: But something happened to the loneliest, homeliest little Waddif that changed all that. The loneliest, homeliest Waddif was sitting on a rock one sultry summer’s afternoon, pondering stultifying philosophies.
He: Waddif nobody ever likes me? Ever?
Narrator: When into the village that day came a lady who walked with elegance and smiled like she knew what hour the sun rose each day. (Pause) Her name was Grace. She strode right up to the loneliest, homeliest little Waddif.
Narrator: She said. And she smiled that smile that smacked of the new day’s sunrise.
Narrator: He replied. And he glanced away and waited for her goodbye.
Interpreter: Amongst the Waddif Tribe children, nobody every goes much past hello and goodbye. They were too consumed with pondering.
She: How are you?
Narrator: She inquired of the loneliest, homeliest Waddif sitting on the rock. Then she asked,
She: Why aren’t you feeling better?
He: Waddif I really tell her?
Narrator: He wondered.
He: Waddif she turns on her heel and walks away? Waddif she won’t like me? Waddif she doesn’t…Waddif I don’t…Waddif it won’t…Waddif, waddif…?
Interpreter: Waddifs really reasoned like that. But Grace smiled on the boy.
He: Sure, it’s easy to smile when you can’t see the tragedies ahead. But waddif she rejects me? I wouldn’t blame her. After all, she’s very pretty. I’m not her type.
She: You’re cute.
Narrator: She said. And she smiled again, like daybreak over distant mountains.
He: Now what?
Narrator: Thought the loneliest, homeliest Waddif.
He: Waddif she’s only kidding? That’s it. She must be pulling my leg.
She: I’m not kidding.
Narrator: She said.
She: I really mean it.
Narrator: He stared.
She: I am not pulling your leg. You look great.
Narrator: He stared even harder. He wasn’t used to this kind of talk, at all.
He: Waddif my eyes pop out of my head?
Narrator: He wondered.
Narrator: He asked then, and it was the hardest, breeziest question he had ever asked in a life bristling with hard, breezy questions…
He: Waddif she likes me? (Pause)
Interpreter: For a lonely, homely Waddif tribesman, it was a most deliciously terrifying question.
He: Waddif there’s something in me to like? I mean, waddif I’m all right after all? Waddif…?
She: Want to take a walk?
Narrator: She asked.
Narrator: He managed to say. And the questions flew at him, and through him, as they always had his lifelong days, but this time the asking of them started the tiniest little smile at the corners of his eyes.
Interpreter: That infected the corners of his mouth.
Narrator: That spread to his voicebox and started shaking it with a laugh of growing delight.
He: Waddif I were really happy? Waddif I were not rejected this time, but waddif I were accepted? Waddif good things happened to me, the loneliest, homeliest little Waddif?
Narrator: She said,
She: …you have a friend?
Narrator: And she smiled, and he smiled back at her, and the day broke before them like sunlight on the morning of creation. (Pause)
Interpreter: And so what if they didn’t necessarily live happily forever after? They did have a lovely walk.
Narrator: And as you know, little children, the Waddif Tribe did not die out. They can be heard around the deepest continent these days asking a different flavor of question, and actually listening for answers:
Interpreter: Waddif things work out all right?
He: After all?
Narrator: And the loneliest, homeliest little Waddif isn’t lonely and isn’t homely any more. And if you were to ask him why, the creature would simply say,
He: I owe it all to Grace.
Narrator: And smile that ever-blessed smile.
Originally published in Resources for Youth Ministry 84:1.
Republished and revised in July 2011 for thESource.