Just as the taco meat was beginning to simmer, I received a knock on the door.  When I opened the front door I knew immediately who the two young men were representing in their dark suits and white button down shirts.  I did not have to read their clearly marked nametags to know the reason for their visit.  I figured I had 10 minutes before dinner was ready so I did not have to be rude or cut them off at the pass like I might have done if we were getting ready to sit down at the dinner table.  Also, my 8-year old daughter, EmmaGrace, was right there beside me watching and listening to see what I might do. 

I clearly told these two young men that I was a Christian, that we attended church regularly, and I even worked for the Moravian Church.  They had a few questions and asked about raising a child in the faith.  I shared with them my answers and told them that most recently I was passionate about faith formation in families and any issues with children and reconnecting them with nature and God’s wonderful creation.  At that moment EmmaGrace ran back into the house and grabbed a bracelet we recently made that represents the seven days of creation.  EmmaGrace was charming as she explained what each bead represented in that bracelet.  The young men were so kind and patient listening to her retell the story of creation through that beaded bracelet.  Together, we agreed that God created a great big world with all kinds of people and we need to share His love with one another.

-Heather Stevenson 

From Lisa Mullen: 

I love this remarkable story about our little friend and sister in the faith EmmaGrace.   With exuberance she runs to find one of her treasures to share with the Mormon evangelists!  This must be the kind of openness that Jesus spoke of when he talked to us (adults) who might only enter into the reign of God as little children. 

In her own childlike wisdom EmmaGrace meets her guests right where they are and shares a part of herself that testifies to the deepness and wideness of God’s whole created order, including Mormons and Moravians, (who are not to be confused with one another).  Sometimes, we underestimate the spiritual gifts of children who enjoy and share a wondrous and rich spiritual life.   EmmaGrace shares her joy directly, openly and freely.  Listen to Wynn McGregor in her spiritual formation curriculum, the Way of the Child,   as she speaks of children’s “innate connection to God:”

All children come from God and God’s spirit is breathed into them at birth.  As human beings, they are created in the divine image for relationship with God.  They have that gift from God to all humans—transcendence, the desire and the capacity to reach beyond their own limits because their imaginations are so rich and fertile, they do not have to know all the answers. They are comfortable living in the “in between.”  They fathom much more than they can articulate. Our culture puts an inordinate emphasis on reasoning and knowing “the truth.”

Our faith is always deepened by the faith of children, our younger sisters and brothers, if we open our eyes and ears to the gifts they bring to us all. 

-EmmaGrace is a second grader at Clemmons Elementary School who loves this great big world filled with God’s wonderful creation.  Heather Stevenson is the mom who loves this curious little girl.  Lisa Mullen, Director of Children and Family Ministries for the Board of Christian Education is EmmaGrace’s friend who shares beautiful flowers with her.