Monday, September 5, 2011

My Lifelong Goal

I don't think I realized it until lately, but goal for my entire adult life has been to help children, including teenagers, know that they matter, that they are beautiful, that they never need doubt themselves.  My parents never said those things to me.  Actually, they called me a troublemaker and other names I wouldn't repeat anywhere, especially here.  That's probably one reason I have always avoided cursing, not because I think I'm better than others, but because of those memories.  But I digress.
As a teacher, I try very hard (not always successful) to encourage students and never to say anything that would make them feel bad about themselves (my heart breaks when I think of the times I have failed).
This weekend, I went to Walmart.  I never go to Walmart for several reasons, but I was close on Saturday, so I went.  I saw one of the little girls who was in my Vacation Bible School group in July.  I was so, so happy to see her again, and she smiled at me the entire time I talked with her. She has such a sweet spirit.  I told her what a great person she is, although she has parents who tell her that daily.
On Sunday, I worked at our church at what we called "Oasis Place After the Race."  The Rock and Roll Half Marathon was held here in Virginia Beach on Sunday, and since our church is right at the oceanfront, we are prevented from having our first two services.  So we set up an "oasis" where the runners and their families--and anyone else--could get food, water, prayer, communion, music, and best of all . . . the children could make pinwheels.  That was my job.  For two straight hours, I helped children make pinwheels.  Nonstop.  We were quite popular.
With every pinwheel, I did all I could to encourage each child about the good job he or she was doing, and to compliment the children on their appearance and their skill at following directions (so different from high school students!  Ha.).
I asked one little girl if anyone had ever told her she was pretty.  She said, "Yes," at which her mother chuckled.  I said, "Well, that's good because you are, and I want you to promise me that you will remember that for the rest of your life, no matter what."  She was probably only about three years old, but I do pray that somehow what I said to her will make a difference in a dark and lonely time later in her life.  Because we all have those times, don't we?
So that little rambling story pretty much tells the reason I am passionate about being a Compassion sponsor and a Compassion advocate.  I want children to feel loved and important.  Because they are.
One of the little girls who made a pinwheel

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