This week’s mini-memoir was written by Peter D. Mallett. Peter’s blog is one of my favorite resources for writing tips and encouragement.
Why did this memory come flooding back to me as a young adult, during my prayer time? Suddenly, I was eight years old again. I loved to sketch. Though not a great artist, I loved it and worked hard at it. However, most of my relatives were quite used to me rushing in to show them my latest artwork. Many of them didn’t pay much attention anymore. This specific experience took place at my Grandma’s beach house near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Sitting on the sea wall, I was trying to draw the ocean, one of my favorite subjects. I’d always had difficulty drawing the waves, but on this day, in my eyes, they were just right. Overjoyed, I sprinted back to the house. Each person took a look. Their comments were all similar,
A couple of them just patted me on the head. They allowed my quick interruptions, but they were in their adult world and went back to it. They didn’t share in the excitement; they didn’t understand the effort in my sketch. Dejected, I slumped down on the couch. Moments later a family friend staying with us came down stairs, so I showed it to her. She stopped. She sat down with me.
“Well, let’s take a look.” She studied the picture. “This is really well done! I like the shells. I like to collect shells on the beach. Don’t you? I especially like the way you did the waves. Isn’t the ocean amazing? I can see you worked hard on this. It’s good. You know, I sure can’t draw like this.”
She made time for me. She asked questions and let me answer. She put her arm around me and thanked me for showing my drawing to her. Since she’d appreciated my drawing I asked her if she would like to have it. “Oh yes, thank you,” was her response.
Overwhelmed with how much I had remembered from this childhood experience, I asked the Lord “Why, did you remind me of this?”
God quietly whispered, “The way she appreciated your drawing…That’s how I want you to value people. See though my eyes. Don’t just pass by saying, “That’s nice”. I want you to stop; to take time; and to see the details I put into them. I want you to value each one.”
The weight in those ideas fell hard against the backdrop of that childhood memory. Not many would have said I was unfriendly, but this message transformed my thoughts about others. I knew I’d need to look deeper, take the time to get to know people and encourage them in their endeavors. God’s gentle nature loves to use stories to teach us. He used this true event from my own life to show me that people are worth so much more than a glance.
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