At the church I used to attend, there was a little boy who was going to be a third grader, and a little girl who was going to be in first. They were siblings and neither one was very outgoing. The times I would say hi to the little girl, she would hug her mama’s leg, and hide her face. She was a very pretty girl, with wide brown eyes and curly golden hair. Her brother was not a big participant in Sunday school class, and didn’t have much confidence. Their dad worked out of town and was often gone for periods of three to seven days at a time. Their mother worked as well, in town and was looking for a babysitter. I was fifteen, loved kids, and got myself a summer job! Although they were shy and kept to themselves in public, when we hung out at their house, they were amazing kids!
I’ll never forget all of the wonderful times we spent together. We had stuffed animal parties, did science experiments, walked to the park, and went to the movies to see Space Chimps and Journey to the Center of the Earth. I loved babysitting and I wanted to do the job to the best of my ability. We always took turns saying the prayer before our meal. Listening to each other read books, and everyday we practiced learning the 66 books of the bible. This was a big deal at the church we went to. We played this game with a miniature hot pink beach ball. We got in a circle and tossed the ball around it. Every time we caught the ball we said a book of the bible. We always went in order starting with the Old Testament and ending with the New Testament. They became very determined to get better at the things they loved! All they needed was the extra little push. The light in them that shined was seen by everyone.
One Sunday after church my mom told me that the little boys Sunday school teacher said that he had improved so much in class. He was answering questions, listening, and he was happy to be participating. The next Wednesday after class the little girl ran up to me, gave me a huge hug, and announced that she said the 66 books of the bible! She was ecstatic!
I was, and still am so proud of those kids, and so happy to see them grow in the amazing way they did. They made my last month and a half of living in my old town a blast! Getting the opportunity to see the effect of just a little encouragement, was worth more to me then getting paid for doing the job. You may not know the power that the littlest words, or tiniest gestures of encouragement may hold, but when you do see it, it just may change your prospective of life!
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