My pastor-husband is particularly proud of a picture hanging in his office. The young boy can barely lift his head high enough to be seen above the pulpit as he reads the scripture for the divine service. He lived across the street from our church and when we opened a soup kitchen, his family was the first to arrive.
We didn't expect that soup kitchen to result in baptisms. We didn't expect to hold weddings for homeless couples. Or to conduct a funeral service to add dignity to the life of a woman who came to know Christ before she died in the street. But the church took the first step in openings its doors to the down-and-out and God did the rest.
Why do I share this story on a site dedicated to sharing the Three Angels Messages with children? Because whatever we do with positivity, love, and faith results in spiritual rewards far beyond what we can even imagine. That little boy in the picture? He is stationed in the navy now, far from family, friends, and the white church that brought him to Christ. On particularly lonely days, he remembers the kindness of the members, the happy times of fellowship meals, the pride of the congregation when he stretched his neck high enough to read the scripture to the smiling group in the pews.
The human brain is an interesting thing. In order for experiences to etch themselves into long-term memory, they must bring with them an emotional component.
We take with us what made us cry, what warmed our hearts, what connected with our most poignant feelings. As significant as facts and information may be, they will fall off the shelf of short-term memory if they are not accompanied by something deeper.
It is my prayer that your emotional connections with children will be positive, powerful, and loving. That they will remember your church as a place of safety and joy. Your classroom as a place of laughter and love. Your family as a refuge of compassion and understanding. Your Christ as the loving Saviour, holding them tight as they navigate rough waters far from home.