Grandfathers get to do such wonderful things

By Terry Wardle

July 1, 2010

This past Saturday I observed something that spoke deeply to my heart about love and affirmation. This bunch of seven and eight year old girls are coached by wonderful volunteers who do nothing but affirm these kids. Virtually every word out of their mouths toward the players is delivered with a smile, a positive statement, and encouragement. That alone is special to see. But this week I noticed something else. Virtually every time one of these girls did something on the court; tried a pass, took a shot, dribbled, maybe made a basket, the coaches praised them, and as the child ran back down the court they invariably looked to the stands with a smile of pride as if to say, “Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, did you see me!” So excited. So proud. So very pleased in their own achievement.

It touched me deeply, this display of affirmation and praise. I saw that it was a tool to personal formation. It reminded me that kids aren’t the only ones that need to see delight in another’s eyes. We all do. Its part of what changes us, builds confidence, welcomes us to the table of life. In a way, it is a love message from God delivered deeply to the human heart, saying “You are delighted in, special, wonderful, appreciated.” I want to let my words, and eyes, and facial expression, and body language speak wonder into others. Even in the slight things, less appreciated things, almost unnoticed things. Why? Because it does matter. A lot. And it takes so little effort on my part to make such a huge difference in someone else’s day. Maybe even their life.

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