Spiritual Practice


Kristin Shaffer, 15

The summer before my freshman year of high school, I was involved in the yearly Youth Missions Week at our church. One activity we led was a two-night backyard Bible school at a low-income housing project.

Before the children left the second night, we gave them school supplies we had bought with money raised in Sunday School. Most of the kids received art boxes with pencils, markers, crayons, a yo-yo, and a little candy. Older kids got pens, binders, and loose-leaf paper, while really little kids got crayons, coloring books, and small toys. All of the children were so excited about their new things.

Crayons Ftr 78159445Later that night, as our youth group reflected on what we had experienced, one girls shared this touching story: After we had handed out the gifts, a little girl ran up to her with a huge smile on her face and said, “I can’t wait for school to start! This is the first time I will have a box of crayons, just like the other kids do!”

This story went straight to my heart. I could hardly keep from crying! When I was a child, I always had a full pack of crayons on the first day and never considered myself fortunate  to have them. In a week they were all either lost or broken, and I could immediately go get some new ones. I had never imagined that some kids didn’t have crayons. That night, the Lord helped me to see how much I take for granted. Now I will never look at a pack of crayons in the same way.


“Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple–truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Matthew 10:42 (NRSV)

PRAYER: Dear God, help me always to find ways to give to others. And open my eyes to the many gifts that I have received. Amen.

—from devozine (May/June 2000) Copyright © 2000 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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