Friday, January 27, 2012

Just a Minute

I was rummaging through my purse for a donation in exchange for my bowl of grapes and half bagel at my Baptist church's breakfast bar.  They let us (encourage us even) eat during the service.

I looked up and saw a little brown-haired boy on the other side of the table helping himself to the donut holes.

When I called his name, he looked up. He lit up.

Then he hesitated, embarrassed by the sparkle in his eye as he tried to restrain himself from leaping over the table and attaching himself to me.

Instead I invited him to come hug me. (I would have begged, but I knew it wasn't necessary). We both abandoned our breakfasts; I knelt as he rocketed around the table. He wrapped his arms around my neck, and I scooped him into my arms. Neither of us said a word. Neither of us wanted to let go. I was pretty sure I was going to have a seven-year-old-sized growth on my side for the rest of the service.

Life is made up of moments just like this. Compassion's president Wess Stafford wrote a book about how it takes just a minute to change the life of a child.

How often do we turn to children begging for our attention and say, "Just a minute" as we try to finish up whatever project is, in that moment, more important than the child?

What if you tried something different.  Instead of "just a minute"-ing, you took just a minute to invest in a child. It makes a difference in his or her life, and I'd be willing to bet it makes a difference in yours, too.

Just a minute. It matters.

I don't get to spend a lot of time with children. I cherish the minutes I get to be trampled by fifty children trying to hug me simultaneously, be the human jungle gym, or be a galloping horsey.

What a precious gift for both parties involved. (The bruises are definitely worth it).

As adults, we have so much to give children. At the same time, we have so much to learn. It takes just a minute. But it makes a difference that last long beyond a sixty-second hug.

Learning to embrace the little moments with little people,
<>< Katie


Lizzie said...

Thank you. I need to stop "just a minute"ing and spend some time with my little sis.

Jennie said...

I tend to do that a lot. I used to do it to the kids at my church Awana and I soon learned that all these kids needed was attention and sometimes a hug..

4granted said...

Reading Dr. Stafford's book Just a Minute inspired me to take moments like you so eloquently describe, to simply be a loving presence in the life of a child.
Dr. Stafford always asks adults to think about their own "just a minute" experiences--who encouraged you, believed in you? Lots of folks have shared their touching stories on the book's website at --go check it out, maybe share your story as well.