My daughter and all of the children of our county schools have returned to school this week. They were out of school 2 1/2 weeks because of earthquake damage. My daughter’s school was re-opened, but all of the schools were not. At her school, everyone received a small stuffed animal on the first day back. The students are allowed to bring the animals to school during this first week back. These stuffed animals are a way of offering personal comfort, feeling safe, and reassured that no one is alone.
While we may not all be carrying around a stuffed animal, we all need the things that these animals provide. We all, no matter who we are, need to know that we are safe. No one wants to live in a situation where safety is not provided. This stress is not good for anyone. We also want comfort. We seek comfort in many ways, but we all want to feel the comfort and care these stuffed animals provide. Finally, we wan to know that we are not alone. We are social creatures. We are meant to create community.
We who are Christians are called to help provide this sense of well-being to others. Stuffed animals may not be the answer for everyone, but the answer may come in our ability to build relationships, make connections, and be present with others. When we take the time for others, then we offer the benefits of stuffed animals and so much more. How and when are you taking the time to build relationships? Take the time to make the lives of those around you more peaceful.