January 9, 2019
Prayer: May I know in my heart what is important to You this day, dear Lord. I pray for the salvation of each of my co-workers and students. Thank you. Amen.
Scripture: And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3 NIV
One Sunday, while greeting people as they arrived in the foyer of our church, I saw a teenage girl enter and look around uncomfortably. She was wearing clothes that… let’s just say were not quite appropriate for church. I didn’t think I had seen her before.
I introduced myself to her with a smile and warm welcome asking if I could help her find someone. She said her friend had invited her to church but she probably wasn’t expecting her since she had invited her every week for months.
I led her down the aisle to the front few pews where our youth sit every week. As we walked I could see people stare, lean over and whisper, and throw looks of disapproval at her. When we got to the front of the church her friend jumped up and climbed over half a row of others to get to her throwing her arms around her neck. Some of the other youth were saying, “Yea, you came!” and “Wow, come sit by us.” She was smiled at and hugged as she made her way down the row to sit in the middle of the group.
Two months later, I sat and watched this same girl being baptized. The youth stood and cheered as if they were at a football game. Thank God the youth were there to receive that young girl. Had it been left to us adults, she probably wouldn’t have ever come back after that first day. I quietly prayed, “Lord, make me more like them.” I’ve often heard that “children are cruel” but it also seems they can also be quite accepting.
As your students come into your classrooms wearing a variety of clothing and accessories – name-brand, no-brand, outrageous, and inappropriate- how will you treat them? Will they immediately be met with your judgment or will they be met with your acceptance as God’s reason for you being an educator? Let’s view them as your purpose not your problem.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org