Call them by name

I love my children a little deeper today. I’ll hug them a little tighter tomorrow. I’ll reach a little further to extend greater patience. I feel a greater measure of love. I’ll do these things because of a young man’s name.

Our church’s youth group spent this last week working downtown in several different places. They were broken up into three different groups of ten to twenty youth. They had Bible school, did odd jobs for different mission ministries and went to an animal rescue farm to do manual labor. The three groups went in different directions each day for five days straight.

Yesterday, Glory was part of a group of that presented a backyard Bible club to a group of kids. One of the children in the group was a little boy who was three. When asked his name, he said his name was, “boy.” That simple answer was enough to change a life.

The kids at my church are “average” American kids. They don’t worry about where their next meal will come from. They can buy a new shirt when they want. They have cell phones and go to the movies at least once a month. More importantly, they have a parent who calls them by name.

My own kids know they have value. We respect their opinions. We value their presence. We celebrate their birthdays, their accomplishments and who they are as individuals.

We call them by name. 

What perplexes me is: what do I do with this experience? How can it be used to make a better world? How can it change these kids? Is it enough to use it to change my own life….. how I behave to those around me? ….. how I love my own parents/children/friends? Is there more? Can I reach out to this child’s mom and help her in someway? Can I find a way to establish a friendship with this young man and influence his life? Is there a way for me to challenge the kids to allow it to change their lives?

I want to make a difference. I don’t care if I’m known by many. But, I want to be known as someone who made a difference in the lives of the few that I do know.

For now, all I know to do is pray … and treat the people that cross my path with respect … SEE them. Call them by name. Let them know by my actions that they have worth and value.

I will pray for this young man. I will pray for his Mother. I will pray for his Father. I will pray for those who will touch his life in the weeks, months and years ahead. I will pray for him to grow to be a mighty man of God who will know that the Creator of the Universe knows him by name and even knows the number of hairs on his head. Because of all the things that I can do, prayer is the single most powerful tool that I have.

And I will pray that God will use this experience to make me a better Mom….. that I will love more purely, give more openly and forgive more quickly…..

…………all because of one young man’s name.

How has God used a child to change your perspective lately?

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