The sky fell at 2:30 in the afternoon on my day to stay with the after-school care kids. My hopes of spending a pleasant afternoon watching a playground full of happy children evaporated as I watched the concrete steam. We were condemned to the classroom.
I knew what I was facing. Tired, restless children in a small classroom full of paint, puzzles, art supplies, science exhibits, dress up clothes, blocks and small cars. What could we do?
We watched TV.
It was only a taped episode of Arthur—the one where tomboy Francine tries to doll herself up like the other girls in school. I sat down with the children and found myself interjecting my thoughts as we watched.
“Isn’t it great that God made all of us different?”
Surprised smiles greeted me. The children seemed pleased that I was interested in a program they enjoyed. As the show continued, I shared more thoughts about Francine’s new understanding.
“Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were all exactly alike? God made us different on purpose, and we are all special and beautiful.”
“I’m not beautiful,” said a small, sad voice. I looked up, startled. A perfectly beautiful four-year-old girl was speaking.
“Yes, you are,” I said emphatically. “God made you exactly the way you are on purpose. When you say that you aren’t beautiful, you’re telling God that what He made is no good. God doesn’t make mistakes. He says you are beautiful…and I agree with Him.”
We locked eyes. I read doubt, then hope, in hers. She saw rock-solid conviction in mine.
I couldn’t have planned the moment. I was merely in the right place at the right time. God spoke to that little girl through me and through a television show. It was an honor to witness the event.
My little friend may forget what I said, but I’ll never forget her and the lesson she taught me. I am a teacher and the greatest Teacher who ever lived lives in me. I plan and work my plans and God uses them, but He doesn’t need curriculum, plans or my best performance. He needs a vessel. I pray that I’ll be ready and willing to serve.
Debbie, not only do you send a message of hope to the four-year-old girl in your class, but you send a message of hope to everyone who reads your article. We don't have to be perfect, just willing to be used of God. We've all heard this before, but it bears repeating: God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. He needs only a willing heart. Thanks for the lovely reminder! Love, Cheri
" When you say that you aren’t beautiful, you’re telling God that what He made is no good."
What a powerful reminder! An awesome insight you shared here.
I will remember that God made us all beautiful in His sight. What a great confidence booster! Thanks for sharing.
Debbie, trust me, she will never forget your words! As I read your story, not long after posting a poem about my life as a child, I thought about all the little girls who have grown up into women, convinced they are too fat, too skinny, not good enough, ugly, unlovable, and on and on, the list could go. Words spoken into the life of a child, help to promote death or life. It appears God is using you to speak words of life...words that may spare them much sorrow. Thank you for sharing. You are an excellent writer.