Be an Example of Love, Week Three
Children are WatchingTourists crowd into special places for clearly advertised reasons. Others show up to watch the crowd. I admit that I am a “people watcher.” My children have taken up my hobby, noticing strange quarks or a disconnect between behaviors and context. We enjoy watching artists, working in their own world, even when surrounded by a crowd. We love watching groups follow blindly. We especially enjoy watching children. We love watching them watch.
Children see so much more than the adult carrying them realizes. They communicate so much more than their care-givers know. We see the mischievous sparkle in their eye, just before they try to sneak away. We see the friendly smile that invites us to wave. We see the curiosity when they spot a new shape of beard or hat on a stranger. Still, my favorite moments are when children spot us watching them.
Something happens when they recognize that they are seen. There is a connection that goes beyond eye contact or a smile – a spirit that moves, and reminds everyone in that moment that they are part of something more. For all of us, being seen affirms our self-worth, and allowing others to see us creates a connection. Our children have so many gifts to share, but we can never underestimate the gift of recognition, even in a subtle way. This is an act of love that is shared between people and invites us to be more observant and loving. We can be intentional or even flamboyant, but love invites us to see each other and let them see us, even if it is just a kind smile across the isle of a bus, or a compassionate nod at another’s yawn. Love connects us all, and we feel it when we see each other.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-8
For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of people we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it.
(Read the weekly scripture each day. Find a phrase or word that speaks to you. Share your reflections with others over dinner, social media, and in prayer. Share the scripture with a child you know in the car, through a text, or in a children's Bible.)
Resources and Links
Rev. Yates' VBS Curricula: YodaYadaVBS.com
Vibrant Faith: https://www.vibrantfaith.org/
InsideOut Camp Curriculum: http://insideoutcamp.com/
Rev. Lee Yates, Pastor of Covina Community Church and Managing Editor of InsideOut Camp Curriculum. He is also a freelance writer whose work can be found in the United Methodist's "Bible Lessons for Youth" and a variety of resources from Vibrant Faith Ministry.
*The view represented in these devotions come from a variety of diverse perspectives. We do not seek to agree but seek to welcome all to the conversation and the table.