About eight years ago, my husband and I completed a church internship in Juneau, Alaska. I could tell you a thousand wonderful things that we learned that summer, but there is one profound story that will stick to my soul until I die. The lesson I learned didn't come from reading a book on theology or words from a seasoned pastor. The lesson I learned was taught to me by my 3-year-old daughter.
Let me paint the picture for you.
My husband and I decided to take the ferry from Juneau to Haines, Alaska. We got on the ferry with our two kids. The ferry was packed with people so we had to split up to find seats. He took our son, and I took our daughter.
Kate and I walked to the front of the ferry and saw two open seats next to a quite disheveled-looking man. I took the seat next to the man, and Kate sat down to my right. Immediately I noticed the man's smell. I looked over at him and gave him a courteous nod, taking note of his greasy hair and beard. In my eyes it was going to be a long four hours.
There was something about this man caught Kate's attention. She kept leaning over me to look at the man, and it started to become a little uncomfortable. I tried to distract her, but she kept leaning over to stare at him. Immediately thoughts started running through my head about what she might say.
Was she going to say something about his dirty clothes? His greasy beard? His smell?
I looked over at the man and smiled awkwardly. Finally Kate leaned over, looked the man in the eyes, and in her little voice said, "Hi, Jesus." Kate thought we were sitting next to Jesus.
The man was visibly moved by her words. He smiled and told me that was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him.
Instantly I knew that my little Kate had seen things in this man that I had failed to see. She saw more than smelly clothes and greasy long hair. She saw a person that was worthy of love and respect. Kate got it right.
After saying hello, Kate spent the rest of the trip coloring and playing with her toys. But little did she know on that day, she taught her mom a very important lesson. Her two words taught me more about God's love than all the books I read in seminary. Kate showed me how to see with new eyes.
I will never forget the man, the words or the lesson that I learned on that ferry to Haines
Trina Pockett is a former MOPS mom with an amazing story of overcoming cancer during pregnancy. She is now an inspirational speaker who shares with women the adventure of living a life of faith. Learn more at trinapockett.com.