I was meeting with a friend yesterday and he introduced me to a small group of men doing some amazing work with youth and community (http://kheprw.org/). In introducing me, he named what he saw as my gifts. He mentioned that I was creative and a connector. For many years, I’ve balked at being called creative. I don’t see myself as such. But, now, in a more humble manner of listening and removing my own ego…I’m able to hear more what others see in me. And, I’m more open to embracing those talents, those gifts — naming and blessing and celebrating them.
Along those lines, I was recently reconnected with a man who had a great influence on my life as an elementary school teacher. As a young boy of 10 years old moving from Louisiana to Canada, I remember facing the teasing from my peers, having a funny accent. 😉 I was also young and short for my age. Skipped a grade while in Canada made that “difference” even more pronounced. There were two men – Mr. Rogers and Mr. Heady – who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. They “took me under their wings” and broke down the barriers my accent created, and helped me connect with the students. I have ALWAYS shared fondly of my time in Sarnia and spoken of these two men. Well, recently, a friend from Sarnia connected with me on Facebook and told me that Mr. Rogers was looking to reconnect with students. What a great blessing! And as we started to reconnected, Mr. Rogers wrote back, “Remember you as one of those students who brought the fire for learning to class every day.”
So completing that spirit of naming by gifts — some of them I see more fully today are…curious; connector; creative; fire for learning.