|Little Hands Storytime Summer Servants at Emeritus of Murray on June 4, 2013.|
He glued down six red strips of paper to make the stripes and then scattered 13 silver sticker stars. He knows it’s the ‘Merican flag, but that’s about where the knowledge of Old Glory begins and ends for my 3 1/2-year-old boy.
But Ben was all in for this craft. I’m not sure why he cared more about this one than others that haven’t held his attention. Maybe it was the glue stick. Maybe it was because I told him he could give it to one of the people sitting in the next room of the assisted-living facility.
We were with other families with small kids who are part of a weekly story time that usually meets at a local church. For four weeks this summer, the kids are invited to sing songs, make crafts, play games and eat snacks while learning about a couple different local organizations and ways to serve. The theme is “Mighty Kingdom — Shield By His Love,” which, really, is a good lesson for us parents too.
Moms, we are building God’s Kingdom right here in our homes when we wash clothes and make dinners and fix toys and play games and grocery shop and encourage naps and instruct at bedtime and hear the stories and answer the questions. Yes, it seems mundane and so far from mighty, maybe even too ordinary to call it Kingdom work. But it’s lasting and it’s important. We are raising the next generation of servants and friends. These are the people who will build our communities and serve as the leaders. These are the ones who will carry on with the legacy we’ve begun.
Ben may not even know he lives in the United State of America. But he knows the words to “Jesus Loves Me” and isn’t bashful about telling people what he thinks. Earlier this week, he told an older man he’d never seen words that may have made his day: “I made this ‘Merican flag for you.” And then he leaned in for a hug.
The older man squeezed him in a side that spanned generations and thanked him. He asked my boy his name and then told him about his own grandson who also is named Ben. He took off his Navy hat that probably holds many stories close to his mind to show him that the cowlicked mess of hair on Ben’s head is more than he has. As I watched from a close distance, the conversation seemed superficial, but I could tell the man was glad for the interaction and the crooked ‘Merican flag.
Some construction paper, stickers and a glue stick don’t seem like much. But they were the beginnings of a gift for someone who soaked in the preschool boy love. What we do here matters. The little people are watching. And there is a great, big world full of people who need God’s Kingdom to come to them.
I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and other storytellers for #TellHisStory today.
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