WHEN MY SONS were small, a friend suggested a playful and creative method for teaching children basic kindness. Though it seemed like child’s play at the time, I realize now that it made a difference in my adult life as well. …
As I sent my children off for the first day of school, I cautioned them to be aware of any newcomers to their class and to be particularly friendly and helpful. “Every person you know is wearing an invisible sign. Did you know that?” I asked them. “You can’t see it with your eyes, but it hangs around each person’s neck by a silver thread, it it has four words on it: MAKE ME FEEL SPECIAL. Everyone in your class is wearing the sign – even your teacher! I have the sign on too, and so do you!”
As part of a magical story, the sign’s invisibility increased their fascination. The challenge to imagine something like a secret code made it a game worth playing. For a long time, I could send them off to any gathering with the words “Remember the invisible sign!” They eventually outgrew the game, but somewhere inside them the message registered. Now, as men in their forties, they’ve forgotten most of what I said or thought I taught in those young years. But they still remember the invisible sign.
– Linda Douty
Rhythms of Growth
From page 215 of Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2014 by Linda Douty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
See the invisible sign on those whom you encounter today. Share your thoughts.
Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
John 6:11, NRSV
This Week: pray for the mind of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Mary Magdalene (July 22).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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