If you know me, you know physical touch is not my love language. There is more power for me in a smile, or in a kind word, or a listening ear. There is more power for me in a honest compliment or even in the smallest act of caring. I’m not a hugger, hand holder or snuggler.
Yesterday, I went to church for first and second service to serve in the Zone Children’s Ministry as a small group leader and host. During second I led the game, danced silly, then handed the stage off to Hollis for the lesson. I scanned the room to see where I was needed. Obviously looking for where I would be most effective, because when working with kids we all know there is a power in proximity, an influence from your closeness. I saw no real problems and decided to sit by Chloe, so that I was within reach of the front row and a couple of others to my left. As I relaxed into the floor, Chloe shifted in her spot and moved closer to my side. Hollis preached the lesson and Chloe and I were focused and listening intently. But soon enough, I got distracted by Chloe moving again, seeming restless…until she leaned her head over and placed it delicately onto my shoulder. I could see her body tranquilize and become snug in the spot. Comfortable even.
My heart melted.
I hope you can understand how simple but also how truly important this is. Children will emulate their leaders, their parents, their guardians, teachers and heroes. So do you understand the responsibility in that? Do you see the gravity in that?
Cause reality is, being an example is not an option. There is always going to be someone who is following you, someone who is influenced by you. So no, you don’t get to decide if you’re an example or not, you only get to decide what kind of example you will be. What kind of impact you provide to those around you. Because the power of proximity is real and alive. And my friend, you are contagious.
I sat there and soaked it in. The act was so special…beyond all that could be imagined. How she just wanted to be close to me. How content she was with her head resting upon me.
I hope one day you will get to experience this feeling. Because kids leaning on me is ordinary, and regular, but yesterday it held meaning. And coming from a person who doesn’t desire touch, I will yearn for that moment again. To be overwhelmed by someone’s confidence in my love.
I eminently and permanently love Chloe Little, and to know that she knew that, was the highest compliment I ever received.