AND Look for the Opportunities to Help Others Shine

April 27th, 2014

The purity of a child’s experience created by the generosity of adults who know what is truly important put smiles in the hearts of all who were present. It was an Easter service. A six year old child, whose mother sang in the choir, sat next to his former preschool teacher, on the end of a church pew filled by the teacher’s family.

To watch the child watch the teacher was pure delight. Eyes wide open, his eyes fixed on her face, watching every cue. He told his stories with earnestness. I was sitting too far away to know what he said. At the same time, I was close enough to feel his delight as he sat next to his former teacher.

When it came time to take up the collection, the teacher and her father, who normally take up the collection, did so—accompanied by a very proud little boy. Hands in the pockets of his chinos, puddled around his ankles, he walked between the two, barely the height of their waists.

The teacher gave the collection plate to the little boy who carefully passed it to the parishioners in each pew on his side of the church. The teacher stood behind him at each pew. Everyone smiled. When it was time to bring the gifts to the minister, the teacher’s father returned to the pew, having given his plate to the little boy. The little boy and the teacher brought the gifts to the front of the church.

The little boy’s mother stood, with the choir, just ahead of the minister. She beamed. Her smile filled my heart, and I am sure the hearts of others in the church. The little boy and the teacher returned to the pew and the service continued.

Whatever the sermon and formal readings were about, the real lesson happened in front of our eyes. Because two adults conspired to give the child a chance to step up and do something special, an entire congregation was graced with the message that we all have the capacity to give others a chance to shine. Acts of kindness are within the reach of the humblest and require nothing more than an open heart and the capacity to recognize that we can all give the gift of grace to one another.

Lessons most profound are often carried by children and created by adults wise enough to create the space for them to shine and be heard. AND every one of us is capable of creating such moments when we look for opportunities to help others shine.

Comments are closed.