Joel Gregory: Superbook Encouraged Me
By Christine Wilson
The 700 Club
Shari and John Gregory describe their six-year-old son Joel as fun and outgoing. So when it was time for their church’s Easter program, they were sure Joel would jump at the chance. There was only one problem.
“He has a fear of performing in front of a group of people,” John says.
Joel had his own words to describe how he felt. “Frightened. Terrified.”
Although Joel and Shari tried and tried to convince Joel that it would be fun, Joel would have no part of it.
“The other kids practiced for two months, but I refused,” Joel says.
About that time, Joel and his sister Selah started watching Superbook. Joel loved watching the Superbook characters, Chris, Joy and Gizmo.
“We put it in, and he watched it over, and over and over, and so did our daughter Selah,” Shari says. “They watched it 50 times that first week.”
Pretty soon, he memorized the whole episode word-for-word. Then, John had an idea.
“We were watching it one day, and my husband turned to Joel and said, ‘Look, Joel, Chris was afraid to perform. But what did David tell him?’ And Joel said, ‘He said he should do it for God.’ My husband said, ‘That’s right. You shouldn’t be afraid of performing, because if you do it for God, there’s nothing to be afraid of.’”
Then, on Easter morning, just hours before the show, a child decided not to be in the program. The children’s pastor, Trudy, asked Joel one more time if he would be in the program. This time, Joel had a different answer.
John recalls, “We’re in the choir, so we’re rehearsing. Then we see Joel comes walking in with the shirt on and the sticks in his hand. The children’s pastor said Joel wants to be in the play. Then he told us that he was going to do it for God, and he’s not going to be afraid.”
“My husband and I cried,” Shari says, “because we knew how much courage it took for him to say that.”
After only 10 minutes of practice, Joel performed his part perfectly. Joel says watching Superbook taught him not to be afraid and to trust God.
“We just started watching Superbook and that encouraged me,” Joel says.
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