Saturday was a beautiful day where I live. Warm. Dry. A perfect October day. And a perfect opportunity to teach children that they matter.
Thanks to a sweet couple from our church, my children, and those of several other friends of mine, had the opportunity to learn to serve others in a real and tangible way. I have spent years preaching to the children at our church that they matter, they can change the world, that God has called them to make a difference. My heart is overwhelmed at the incredible participation and actions of the children as they rose to the occasion.
A friend of ours recently experienced some health issues. It was discovered that their family needed firewood and was obvious that the dad would be in no condition to do it for a while. And it is fall in Indiana. It was decided that we would gather some families to process some firewood for them.
Nine other families gathered to bless this family. Fifteen adults and twenty-four children joined the mom and four children to cut, split and stack 10 ricks of firewood and cut logs to be split for about another 4 ricks. And the amazing part? The children were cheerful the entire time. Now, I know some of them were cranky when initially told they were going to do this, but when the time came, they totally rose to the occasion. They sang and chanted and worked. For seven hours (not counting meal breaks of course) they worked on firewood.
In the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to tell you that in actuality, only 7 of the adults handled firewood. For various reasons from pregnancy to broken foot, none of the mommas were able to do firewood and instead cooked and monitored children. So with the 7 daddies (and grandpa) 24 children worked to their skill/age/ability level to bless one family in our church. (And for some reason none of my pictures show it, but we did have several girls working every bit as hard as these boys.)
It is almost unbelievable the level of cooperation and cheerfulness. As we climbed wearily into our van, my eight year old daughter said “I had a lot of fun!” And she worked hard! When asked, my thirteen year old daughter said, “Yeah, it was fun.” and my fourteen year old son said “Well, it beat sitting at home and playing video games all day.” And I’m pretty sure he meant that.
This was an opportunity for them to put into action the words I have been saying to them (along with other church teachers, of course) for years. Children matter. They matter. God has a plan and a purpose for them. Now. To love and to serve. Now.
Please, in as much as you can, show your children they matter to the world now. It is sweet when we see a child find a way to serve others and see adults help make that happen. But I encourage you, find a way to bless someone and lead your child do so as well. Show them. Lead them. Encourage them to serve. And tell them, they were created with a plan and a purpose, right now.