Hard things and the worth of souls (this one is for Nancy and Amanda) :O)

I have been watching something unfold between this beautiful girl and a young man at her school and it has reminded me of some important principles lately. I mentioned this in fast and testimony meeting today so I hate to be repetitive to those of you in my ward but it is something I want to remember. I need to document it here or I'll forget.

At the beginning of the school year, I noticed a boy who sits outside the middle school on a bench every morning. I typically have to drop McKinley off about 45 minutes before school starts because she is either having a student council meeting or guitar lessons. I noticed him there every day. He is always on the same bench. Alone. I have never seen him talking to anyone. I have never seen anyone acknowledge him as they walk in. I wondered why he doesn't join the rest of the kids in the cafeteria or gym before school. My motherly instinct told me it was probably because he didn't have any friends in there.

One morning during the second week of school, I asked McKinley if she would do me a favor and say hi to him as she walked in. She REALLY didn't want to. It's middle school - there is THAT whole dynamic. He is a boy and she is a girl. There is THAT whole dynamic. He is older than her. (She didn't KNOW him but recognized that he was in the grade above her). PLUS, throw into the equation that she is pretty darn shy.

This was asking her to step completely out of her comfort zone.

But I told her I thought he probably was a boy who needed a friend. SOMETHING told me that.
So she did.
I saw it happen as she walked. She picked up her hand, waved to him, smiled, and said "hi". It was a little akward. But he saw it.

I didn't really think much of it after that. But apparantly she kept doing this each day (without any prodding from her mom!)

Then I started noticing that this boy was anticipating her arrival. He knew that the girl in the White SUV would come about the same time every morning, walk by him with a smile on her face, wave, and say "hi". But after a few weeks he started saying hello to her before she even had a chance. It was sweet.

This past Friday, as I was driving away from the school after dropping her off, I noticed that she took the plunge and actually went over to him and sat down on the bench. I later found out that she sat and talked to him for awhile and asked him his name. My heart melted as I watched her interact with him from my rear view mirror.

Two thoughts came to my mind as I reflected on that little experience this week.

It is really good to do hard things.
It doesn't matter if it is a spiritual, physical, social, or financial hard thing. It is good to do things that challenge us, pull us out of our comfort zone, force us to aim higher, or SSSTTTTRRRREEEETTTTCCCCHHHH us. No matter what it is. When we do hard things, we become more like our Heavenly Father.

The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.
He loves us all. He doesn't care what size we are, what brand of clothes we wear, how much money we make. He doesn't value the CEOs more than the custodians or the Bishops more than the ward librarians. The God we worship is not a respecter of persons.

We shouldn't be either.
We should be mindful of the fact that ALL children are HIS children and should be treated with love and kindness. Especially the ones that are alone or needy or a little akward.

I am grateful for the blessing of watching that little exchange between McKinley and David (that is his name, btw) take place because it reminded me of some pretty important things that I want to remember.


Dana said…
Shahna, I LOVED that you shared this. Maybe I'm extra weepy because Christian leaves for his mission in 2 weeks but this really touched my heart. Loved the reminder of such important things and love you!!--Dana
Amanda said…
man...I have chills. That is so neat. And I am so impressed that McKinley went against all those fears and said HI that very first time. Of course I should not be that shocked...McKinley is a special girl. I would steal her if I could;)
Becca and Randy said…
What a sweet girl you have taught:-) This story totally brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone. I can only hope that a McKinley is around when my Cameron goes to middle school:-)

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