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Sparking A Child's Heart to Shine for God


By Cheryl Swope, M.Ed
 
In the book Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child, I share how my two children, despite their significant special needs, benefited from the Christian education that strengthened their minds and impacted their souls. Too often we create a false dichotomy between academics and faith. We need both. One recent event underscored what this kind of education can do for our children, and what it can do for the people in our children’s lives.

My children’s 90-year-old grandfather had been hospitalized for weeks. We were concerned that though he had been quite distraught at times, he had not received consistent spiritual comfort. His shoulders slumped. His face fell. “Pop” concerned my children.

My daughter decided to bring him the Sunday morning readings from Holy Scripture. In the hospital’s gathering room, she began reading loudly and clearly to him. One day she read to Pop from Isaiah 12:1-3:

"I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation."

Seated in his metal wheelchair with a jacket still drooping over his shoulders, his head lifted. He looked at Michelle. He raised his eyebrows. Pop grew quiet. Then he surprised us by speaking. He asked to see a copy of the readings.

Suddenly my father-in-law straightened his body. Lifting his head, Pop read the Isaiah verses out loud. Peace softened his worn-weary face.

Joy warmed his gray eyes. Pop paused. Then he smiled.

That day in a hospital my daughter Michelle shone brightly because the Words she brought to a lonely soul:

"Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever
." (Daniel 12:3)

Let us continue to share God’s Word faithfully with our children that they may share such comfort with others.


This article first appeared in The Classical Teacher, summer 2016 edition.




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