Shoeless friends taught me a life-long lesson

Posted by Liz Perraud at

By Beth Fratzke, Peace Presbyterian Church, Elkhorn, Neb.

Karen Lea Kirschhoffer had a gift. She could make an instant connection with a child or youth of any age. We all have what it takes to connect with kids -- it just takes some of us a little longer or requires a bit more effort.

Karen could make friends with kids in a heartbeat. Years ago, when my daughter was not yet 3, she and I went to church. The moment we sat down in the pew, Julia kicked off her patent leather Mary Janes and tossed them under the pew in front of her. She hated those shoes.

I sighed and started to reach for the shoes to return them to their proper place, when out of nowhere, Karen appeared next to Julia and asked to join us for worship. Without missing a beat, she smiled at Julia and promptly removed her own shoes. Julia beamed. They became instant friends, and together they enjoyed that morning's worship experience.

That was an epiphany for me. Then and there, I realized that worshiping God as the Body of Christ has less to do with simply showing up on Sunday and wearing your finest. It has everything to do with building relationships with one another -- genuine, intergenerational relationships.

That's what LOGOS is all about. That's what Karen knew in her heart. And that's the lesson I carry with me whenever I make friends with a young person.


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