Choir Notes

Important in the Life of a Child
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4385

Two busy parents of a large family recently discovered the difference one caring person can make in the life of a child. It’s a simple story, really, and similar stories take place often and all around us, but the results are sometimes profound. Their six-year-old son, Micah, was stubborn about learning to read. Although he was capable of reading, and his parents worked with him daily, his skills were limited because he refused to practice and learn.

When Micah’s Sunday School teacher asked him to read something in class, he told her that he could not read. The teacher mentioned this to her friend Lynn, a retired schoolteacher. Unable to bear the thought of a child who can’t read, Lynn called Micah’s mother and respectfully offered to help. Although the mother was a little embarrassed and unsure that anyone could succeed with her headstrong son, she graciously accepted the offer.

Within minutes of arriving at their home for their first lesson, Lynn won Micah’s affection. She continued to volunteer her time and skills to helping Micah over the course of several months. Before long, Micah was happily reading above grade level, and his thankful mother now had some ideas on how to teach her two younger children to read when they were ready. Since then Lynn has become a dear friend to the entire family.

This is a story about a caring and effective teacher, but it’s more than that. It’s a story about someone who made a difference in the life of a child. It’s a story about someone who not only could help—but did help. What we offer doesn’t have to be much; it begins with sensitivity to a need, a simple desire to lend a hand, and an effort to step up to the challenge.

Perhaps you’ve heard this saying, written by another person who made a difference in the lives of young people—a Boy Scout leader of decades past: 

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a [child].”1 

1 Forest Witcraft, “Within My Power,” Scouting, Oct. 1950, 2.

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