Actions speak louder than words. True enough. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. Not so true. Words are powerful. Words cut or soothe. Words matter especially to children and others who are vulnerable. And, yes, actions must follow words but words do matter.
I spent last week at Junior Camp. Junior Camp is what the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oregon calls its camp for third, fourth, and fifth graders. I was blessed in many ways. One of the ways that I was blessed was by good leadership.
The Reverend Sara Staton of First Christian Church in Albany, Oregon, served as the camp director. She exuded love and respect. When a child had a question, she stopped and focused completely on the child. She listened. She responded respectfully even when the answer was no. Because her actions were consistent with the best of what it means to follow Jesus, the children trusted her. And, so, the words she spoke to the children on Monday morning had soothing, loving power. They were rightfully believed and set a tone for the week.
In a brief presentation to the children about Philippians 4:4-5, in which Paul implies that Jesus could return at any moment, Sara said,
“The counselors thought and prayed about that and then you all showed up. I think God is already here. We see God in each of you.”
Ever Present One,
Thank you for inspirational and ethical leadership from young women like Sara.
Thank you for those who strive to live as Jesus taught,
and who welcome the youngest of your people: the children.