Last week was a good week. We picked my dad up from the airport and the fun began! We celebrated one of our boys turning 10 years old and ate very well on Thanksgiving. We laughed a lot as a family and spent time playing new games together. Have you ever played the game Spoons? With a table of 10, it can get pretty loud. It reminded me of growing up around my grandparents table. My grandmother would make a delicious dessert and some game would be played. I remember thinking that I could not wait to grow up and get to play. Now I am the grown up and our kids join in the fun. I would rather them not have to wait to play. However, observing like I did as a child had many advantages too, like never losing.
We also went to the movies one day and some of our girls and I saw the movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It is a story based on an interview with Mr. Rogers. There was so much that I loved about the movie, but I will not ruin in for you here. I also picked up the book and there is wisdom within the pages. One of the scenes in the movie and then a quote in the book, really stood out to me.
“Take a minute to think of at least one person who helped you become who you are inside today. Someone who was interested in you for who you really are. Just one minute…one minute to think of those who have made a real difference in your life.” -Fred Rogers
Sometimes thinking of those who helped us become who we are today, might press a tender place in your heart. Some might make you smile and others might cause you to laugh. The impact people have in our shaping is of high value. It makes me wonder if we kept this in mind when we speak, especially to children, if our words would be considered a bit more carefully. Imagine being a person someone thinks of when they look back at how they became who they are today. We all have this potential.
There are also the ones who shaped us, but they were not at all kind. When I think of these, forgiveness follows. I am sure I have done the same as well. We can sometimes blame everyone else and not take responsibility for our own words and actions. However, sometimes the affect of a person on us had nothing to do with us at all and we are not responsible for their sin. There is forgiveness for this too. The cross paid the price for sin and it is our gift for the receiving. Will you open it today?
When I think of people who influenced me for the good, many images surface. One is of a great uncle who had the most calm, kind and strong voice I have ever heard. He spoke of God so freely and was never in a hurry. He had a great impact on my mom too. For him I am thankful. There are Sunday school teachers who taught me week after week about the Bible. I loved to learn. There are my parents who were entrusted to care for me and the Lord used them in a mighty way. I was given so many opportunities to learn and grow. Some I fought and others I loved. All have been used by God for my good and His glory.
This idea of the shaping of people is pretty big. I had an idea that those who have any encounter with children, should be investigated very carefully. Teachers should not step foot in a school if they do not love children. Principals should not renew contracts of those who are causing damage to the heart of children. The cost of repair is very high. Will these teachers foot the bill? Parents should not be able to leave the hospital if they do not know the great treasure they are being given. If they were not raised as important, how will they give what they do not know? The cycle will continue unless someone steps in and repairs what is broken.
It is time for this world to wakeup and see value in every human. Each person, regardless of age, color, convictions and true gender, matter to God and they should matter to us. May we be used to call out in anyone we meet who they are in God’s sight. They are loved, sin paid for and made for worship. Maybe today you will see someone that needs to be reminded. Ask the Lord to give you the words they need to hear. Speak the words in love and leave the results up to Him. I bet your day will be much more exciting.
I have watched our new 10 year old boy live his life pouring out love, validating people. He sees people, has no fear and chooses to be selfless. He has the biggest brown eyes and smiles a lot. He speaks truth with courage and boldness. He knows and loves God with all his heart and that makes all the difference. He feels deep and can easily get his feelings hurt. He reads people well and is cautious when necessary. Age has no meaning to him and he is as comfortable with a 5 year old as he is with a 50 year old. While not perfect, he is looking more and more like Christ with each passing year. He is a treasure for sure and shapes people in the best way. I bet he will be on the list of many! I pray the same for you as well. Today, chose to be a good shaper.