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Chips off the ol’ block

Chips off the ol’ block

Chips off the ol’ block

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

One of the most humbling compliments I believe I have ever received came to me by way of one of our senior kindergarten students, Micah. It centred around Micah’s visit to the dentist. 

Micah, not unlike many children (and some adults including myself) was very nervous about seeing her dentist especially knowing that work needed to be done on her teeth. As Micah prepared herself for this encounter, trying to bolster strength from somewhere to make the trip down the hall to the dentist’s chair, she asked her mom if she could take something with her to comfort her. Micah asked for her mother’s cell phone, knowing that her mother had a collection of pictures of friends and family stored there. Her mother agreed, assuming it was a picture of her young cousin, of whom Micah was very fond, that she wanted to take with her. “No,” Micah replied. “I want the picture of Pastor Kranz.” Her mother asked her, of all the pictures she could take with her to the dentist’s chair, why she wanted the picture of Pastor Kranz. Micah replied, “Because I know Pastor Kranz would never let anyone hurt me.” For the entire time while the dentist worked on Micah’s teeth, she held up the cell phone in her small hand, staring at my picture for reassurance.

When Micah’s mother told me this story, I was both moved and humbled. I share this story with you, not to boast nor call attention to myself. I am the least of whom to deserve such focus. I relay this story because in a most poignant way, it demonstrates the innocence and trust that we adults are charged with protecting.  

In contrast to Micah’s story I received a less flattering affirmation while on the grade eight year-end trip to Algonquin Park last June. I was in a canoe with two of our grade eight girls, frantically paddling our way across Canoe Lake, eager to seek refuge, trying to outrun a thunderstorm. Lynnae shouted back to me from the bow, “I don’t feel safe, Pastor Kranz.” In an attempt to reassure her I replied, “If I didn’t think it was safe, I wouldn’t be out here with you.” Lynnae shot back, ‘Yeah, well that’s according to YOUR standards, Pastor Kranz.”  Ouch! So much for trust!

As adults charged with the care and nurture of children, we must always be aware that every one of our actions, our interactions, our words, our attitudes, speak volumes. Children take it all in, for better or for worse, formulating their own conclusions with an innocence and honesty that is hard to reproduce in the adult realm. Children are keen observers. Every act, every word, every motive is sifted and sorted. Children, like sponges, take it all in. There is nothing that we can do or say that doesn’t in some way impact the opinion they hold of us, and the trust they invest in us. 

Carrying the trust of a child is an awesome responsibility. It is one which God Himself does not take lightly. There is a verse which appears three times in scripture where Jesus says: “And whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe in me to stumble, it were better for him if a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Jesus can’t make it any clearer than that!  When it comes to the well being of children, Jesus does not mince words! Children are a special treasure to our Lord, because “…of such are the kingdom of God.” 

Personally I am blown away by Micah’s affirmation of trust. I am not worthy of such an investiture. I can only pray that in some small way, and by God’s grace, I can live up to her expectations.


Pastor Kranz

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