A few weeks ago, when life changed for all of us, I took the Children’s Ministry online (as many did) and began recording lessons for my kids on Facebook and YouTube. As I walked into the family room that first day, I noticed a children’s Bible on the shelf. I couldn’t remember whose it was but after opening it I saw the handwriting of one of my favorite 1st graders. Her name was written carefully on the intro page. Memories flooded in as I thought of our time together. I had met her through school when she was barely six years old and soon after had connected with her family. Before long, she was part of the kid ministry.
One Wednesday evening the church bus pulled into the parking lot of her home and parked behind the authorities. Within two days, my family had a new member. For nearly a year, we loved on the sweetest little girl. She had many questions about life and the way hers was going. We sat and talked about Jesus and hope every chance we got. We prayed a lot. There was one prayer I’ll never forget. She wiped tears away as she prayed, not for herself, but for all those who didn’t have anyone to take care of them. I still tear up when I think of her innocence petitioning the King of Kings on behalf of others while her heart broke for her own family. She was kind and wise beyond her years and several times, over that period, showed that she had a firm grasp on true love. I learned a lot from her. At the end of our time together, she went to live with family in another county and we lost touch. I decided to use her Bible in my weekly recordings thinking of her each time I opened it.
I woke the other morning and grabbed my phone. With a schedule that has come to a screeching halt, I use it sometimes to check what day of the week it is. Before I saw the date, I saw her name and message. Thanks to having a lot of time on her hands this beautiful teenager had started thinking about her time with my family. She thanked us, shared memories, and suggested we rekindle our relationship once this time is over. I doubt my reply conveyed how much I’m looking forward to that.
I don’t know everything God is up to right now but I know that seeing her Bible, using it for my lessons, thinking so much of her, and the sweet note I got isn’t a coincidence. God is working in the lives of all those who love him. He is active anywhere there is love. He is building goodness and hope. He is here and hoping we’ll take the time to notice so send that note or make that call. Say what you need to say. Thank them for the way they have impacted your life. Be a blessing.
Who knows how long we’ll be staying in or wearing masks? I haven’t a clue on social distancing guidelines for every state or when I’ll get to see my favorite youth group kids again. But I am confident that God is still weaving love into this world in beautiful ways. May we all take the time to notice.