My nephew Gavin is totally obsessed with being a pirate. When we go in public he wears a bandana and a pirate hat. He even wears a holster for his sword. He usually gets some reaction from well-meaning adults who feel like they are playing along with his dressing up when they comment, “Nice hat captain!” But I don’t think he sees it as dressing up. In his mind, he is a pirate and this is just what pirates wear.
Gavin is a unique and beloved child of God. He is free to express his own truths and be authentic–even when pretending to be the fictional character. I want to encourage him in that–and I hope other adults will nurture that creativity and authenticity in him.
I pray that as adults, we will celebrate and encourage all children to remain true to themselves and that we will encourage them to use the gifts that God has given them.
This message is adapted from “For the pirates and graduates,” a Women of the ELCA blog by Elizabeth McBride. Today we remember Catherine Winkworth, who died in 1878; and John Mason Neale, who died in 1866; hymn translators.