A couple months ago, I won a book in a blog giveaway.
As I’ve mentioned, I love story. Books are a weakness. So I was thrilled.
The book was Just a Minute, a collection of stories about children and the moments that often define their lives, written by Wess Stafford, former president of Compassion International. I expected more Compassion in the story, honestly, but the book included stories form history, from Stafford’s personal life, from his friends, from people he has met through his many speaking engagements and travels.
The book’s theme is that, for children (and anyone, I would add), a moment of interaction can drastically change the course of their lives. In my experience tutoring and teaching Sunday school, I’ve seen how moments and words have such power over a child, positive or negative. I’ve seen a student come to me struggling with a class and convinced that he’s stupid and incapable. But with encouragement, his entire attitude shifts.
Since reading Stafford’s book, I’ve been really focused on my interactions with kids, whether it’s my Sunday School class, a child who comes in with a customer at work, or just a child I smile at in the grocery store. I try smile. Give out a sticker. Recognize when they’re being a big help to mom.
Maybe my word or smile will be forgotten. But maybe it’s the smile that tells them they’re important. The listening ear that tells them they’re valuable.
And it takes no more than a moment. I want to always have a moment to encourage someone.