One of my favorite memories with “A” took place back in May when she graduated from 5th grade. Due to work, I was not able to come to the ceremony so we planned to have a dinner the day after to celebrate the occasion. “A” had been talking for months about how excited she was to graduate. She was getting a brand new white dress and a bow for her hair – she was so proud of this huge accomplishment.
On the day of her ceremony I received a text from her mother saying that she was not going to be able to walk across the stage because she had scheduled a doctor s appointment at the same time. My heart sunk. I understood that she needed to take care of her health but this seemed it could devalue the importance that education was to play in “A” s life. I struggled on an emotional level on how to deal with the situation. I ended up texting her mom back telling her that our celebratory dinner the next day would be a family occasion- “A” was to wear her new white dress and we would have our own 5th grade graduation.
The next day when “A” came out of her house, she was beaming from ear to ear. She looked beautiful in her new clothes. We piled into my car and on the drive to dinner I gave her a little graduation gift. She unwrapped the present and opened up the Jesus Story Book Bible I had picked out for her. I was a little nervous about giving it to her because I knew that at her age reading wasn t the coolest thing to do. She surprised me though. I will never forget the words that came out of her mouth. Oh my goodness, this is exactly what I need! This book will answer ALL of my questions! Can we read it together? A simple phrase and question, but it immediately brought tears to my eyes.
There I was, trying to pour into a girl who lives a life so completely different from mine and yet she gets it. This book will answer all of my questions. What would our lives look like if we really used the Bible to guide us? It is the most valuable resource we have and often the most underutilized. Matthew 18:3-4 states Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The rest of the night went wonderfully. We enjoyed a delicious meal, and it gave me a chance to develop a stronger relationship with her mother. Since then, reading the Jesus Story Book Bible has become a big part of our relationship, and I am learning just as much as she is. She has become my favorite church buddy, and the door has been opened to ask some of the harder questions. We definitely still have our struggles, but she knows where my faith stands. I am a broken person, which means I am a broken and imperfect mentor. The second I put Jesus at the center of our relationship, He started leading it. What a better Mentor for this sweet girl than the One who gave it all so that we could be saved by His grace?
-Charlotte Mann, Mentor