“To serve should be a privilege, and it is to our shame that we tend to think of it as a burden, something to do if you’re not fit for anything better or higher.”
-Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
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And so there was I, and there were several young boys at a table, and they asked, “Can we please go first next week?” because the rule is that the girls get their food before the boys do, and the boys consider themselves cheated out of the best food. Sigh. Tired of listening to whining, I sat down and commenced upon an explanation: “Well, here’s the thing. Y’all are going to grow up to be men, and God designed men to take care of women, to put them first … so we’re letting you practice being men.”
Well, there was the typical fourth grader who said, “That is a gross reason!” But he heard me, even so, and there were others who did not dismiss it as “gross.” One or two seemed almost to straighten their posture and adjust their faces into more responsible, man-like forms. I could see them thinking. And it is rather a daunting thing to realize that any young person might heed my hastily formed words on serious subjects; that I, a very young woman, may impact ten-year-old boys’ definitions of manhood. Lord, guard my tongue; guard their ears; and make them men who look like You.