That Kid

Years ago, there was a little girl named Annie.  She lived in an institution.  The workers there had written her off as helpless.  She was out of control and no one could handle her.  

Except for an elderly nurse.  She believed there was hope for this wild child.  She thought the little girl could change if only someone would let her know she was loved.  The nurse started visiting little Annie each day.  The little girl gave no indication that she was even aware that the nursery was there.  But the nurse didn't give up on her.  She keep visiting her and even began bringing cookies and leaving them for the little girl.   

Over time, the doctors in the institution began to notice a change.  Eventually the day came when the little girl...the wild child...the hopeless case, was released from the institution.  

Little Annie...Anne Sullivan...was filled with compassion for others because of how the nurse had gone out of the way to help her.  When Anne grew up, she played a crucial role in helping another child who was blind, deaf and rebellious.  The child's name was Helen Keller.  Anne loved her, prayed for her, invested in her and worked with her.  Helen went on to become an inspiration to the entire world!  

Look back down the path and you will see that it started with an elderly nurse who was intentional about helping a child that everyone else had written off.  

Who is "that child" in your ministry?  You know the one I'm talking about.  The child that disrupts the class.  The child that doesn't seem to fit in.  The child who pops out a swear word.  The child who comes from a terrible home life.  The child who doesn't dress as nice as the other kids.  The child who pushes your nerves to the limit.  The child who has made you question if you should be in children's ministry or not.

But perhaps, that's the kid God wants you to invest in.  Perhaps that's the child God wants you to teach His ways.  

Often, you'll find that kid, sitting by himself / herself in a corner.  You'll find that kid in the office due to getting in trouble.  You''ll find that kid disrupting other kids during worship time.  You'll find that kid running down the hallway when she's supposed to be walking.  You'll find that kid tearing up the handout you just gave him.  

In the story of the lost sheep, Jesus modeled so well how we should treat "that kid."  Think about it.  The lost sheep was "that kid."  The sheep that didn't obey the rules, wandered off, did his own thing and got in trouble.  But the shepherd loved the sheep unconditionally and went the second mile to rescue him and bring him home.  

Another example is the story of the prodigal son.  The prodigal son was "that kid."  He broke his father's heart, ran away from home, wasted his inheritance in sin and even got so low he ended up in a pig pen.  But the father never turned his back on him.  He loved him unconditionally and showed him grace and mercy when he returned home.  

It seems Jesus specialized in helping "that kid."  Zacchaeus.  Mary Magdalene.  The woman at the well.  The man possessed by demons. 

Be like Jesus.  Invest your time, love and efforts into "that kid."  He or she may grow up to change the world.  "That kid" may become your greatest legacy.