My five-year-old 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. 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. At age five he is free to express his own truths and be authentic—even when pretending to be the fictional character, Jack Sparrow. I can see that he is revealing who he really is—creative and focused. I want to encourage that in him—and I hope other adults will nurture that creativity and authenticity in the children they know and love.
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 a blog post written by Elizabeth McBride that first appeared on the Women of the ELCA blog. Today we remember Benedict of Nursia, abbot of Monte Cassino, who died around 540.
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