I Will Never Forget How You Made Me Feel…

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

Meditation: For the first time in my pastoral role I have a group of seven Catholic 6-9 year olds who I am teaching about the Christian faith. This Catholic communion class of mine is unique, in that it is being taught by me, a Protestant female pastor. Additionally, our church is working with a young Catholic priest from Bielefeld who will fly in to Atlanta next year at the end of May in order to offer the sacrament of confession and first communion to the children. In the meantime, every Sunday, I am the one trying to teach these children about their Catholic tradition and about the Christian faith in general. Initially I was a little nervous, if I would be able to do justice to those Catholic families who entrusted their children to me, and if what I said and did would be sufficient. However, Maya Angelou’s words were very helpful to me. She reminded me that at the end of the day, these children will not remember all the details of what we talked about and what we did, but they will remember how I made them feel. They will remember that I listened to them, was patient with them, allowed them to hide every time before I entered the room, that I ate lunch with them and asked them about their “highs” and “lows” of the week and that I allowed them to choose to play a game at the end of the lesson. They will remember that I gently helped them with their prayer exercises and never shamed any of them. I still feel the weight of responsibility, but my focus has shifted from curriculum concerns to “feelings concerns” by making sure the children’s first experience with a pastor, with church and with God are joyful and pleasurable.

Prayer: Gracious God, these children are so life filled, so joyful, so happy. Thank You that being in their presence, I experience joy. Playing with the kids, practicing prayer with them and listening to their first personal thoughts about You is such a gift I will always remember. Experiencing their first prayers to You, is exciting. I will never forget that these children made me feel hopeful about the future and the next generation. Amen

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11