Watch Over

Contributing Writer
Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church Amherst, NY

Ms. Katie is one of our favorite baby sitters. She loves my children like they’re her own. She is responsible, kind, caring and fun. And it would be an understatement to say that my kids love her. They adore her.

At the moment Ms. Katie is sick (I got her permission to write this, don’t worry). She’s in the hospital awaiting surgery. And so, I told my daughters to pray for her. When Delaney (who knows a thing or two about being in the hospital herself) heard that Ms. Katie was sick, she cried. She wept for a moment or two and then she stopped. Her lips tightened and she lifted her head. In her eyes was a look of determination and resolve. Ferocity emanated from her. She had the look of a child who had made up her mind about something and was determined to execute her plans no matter what.

She said, “Daddy, I have to watch Ms. Katie.”

Caught off guard, I replied, “What?”

She reiterated, “I have to watch Ms. Katie. Just like she watches me. Now it’s my turn to watch her.”

My heart broke in the best way. In that moment Delaney put words to the longings of my heart.

See, I’m hopeful that we can be a church filled with people who care for one another regardless of age. I hope we can be a community in which the old learn from the young and the young learn from the old – where seniors care for little ones and where little ones care for seniors. I want to be a part of a community in which we move beyond “thoughts and prayers” to real-life action. I want to see us respond with resolution and determination whenever we encounter desperation and tribulation. I long for us to be a people who sense when it is our turn to be watched and when it is our turn to watch over.

One of the hard truths about life in this world is that so often we feel helpless. We are not sure what to say; we don’t know what to do. But Delaney has me thinking… maybe life’s a whole lot easier than we adults make it. Maybe most of what we have to do doesn’t require having all the answers, saying the right thing, or performing miracles. Maybe all we need to do today is watch over each other, be mindful of the other, be present with those God has placed in our lives.

If you’re sick, I hope you find yourself being watched over. And if you’re well, learn from a little one and find someone to watch.

“Let each of you look not to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 4:11)

In the Way,

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