Today, while purchasing lunch, the assistant manager of the restaurant walked up and said, "You probably don't know me, but you read to me as a child." This happens, at random, about once or twice every year. Here's the story.
When we moved to Lee's Summit our kids were 6 and 4 years old. Emily entered first grade here. Starting the next year, I offered to stop by the class once a week and read to the children. This became one of my favorite experiences. When Chris started in school, I added a second visit each week. As each year passed the practice continued. I'm fairly certain that my children had one or two misgivings in 5th and 6th grade, but their classmates and teachers seemed to enjoy the tradition, and so the tradition continued. I chose The Chronicles of Narnia, complete with some lame attempts at sound effects and different voices, and we managed to get through all seven of the books.
So, every once in a while, about once or twice a year, a young adult will approach me in the Lee's Summit area, and say, "You read to me!" For the most part, I think, these are meant as compliments and as positive memories. No secret- I'm thrllled and delighted each time, hoping that a connection was made, not so much with me, but with the wonderful world of literature, with imagination, with dreaming, and with the power of a story to speak powerful truth.
There are other stories about me, ones in which I haven't acted so nobly or well. The reminder, each time some young adult comes to remind me of the past, is this: the world is watching. Every moment becomes a memory. Every action is a witness. We are called to represent Jesus Christ. We may be the only Bible someone ever reads. We may be the only sermon someone ever hears. We may be the face of Jesus for someone else.
So, find a kid and read a story! Or, in the words of Micah, "do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God." Someone is watching. Someone will remember.