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When each of my grandkids turns ten years old, they come to my home for a week with their grandparents. This week is designed around their special interests, but it also provides a natural opportunity for me to get to know each child outside the context of his or her siblings.
For example, when Josiah turned ten, he loved soccer so we arranged for him to attend a local soccer camp. When Anderson expressed interest in art, we hired an art major to come and be his private tutor for a week. Simeon loves meteorology so we took him to the local TV station to have a private tour by their weather man; he even got to practice doing a report on their green screen!
This year, it was Elliott’s turn. His visit with us was postponed due to my surgeries and COVID. Now, at age 11, Elliott excels in computer languages. My husband had really looked forward to our grandparent week with Elliott because Gene was a computer programmer also. But…Gene died in September. What was I to do?
My computer skills are next to nil. As I thought this over, I realized my soccer skills, my artistic ability, and my knowledge of meteorology were also nil.
Once again, I turned to an outside source. A graduating Messiah University computer science major came to the rescue. Tanner came to talk geek with Elliott for several hours each day. He arranged a field trip to a local computer workshop called Makerspace. The director of the shop gave Elliott a private tour for an hour and a half, showing him the 3-D printers, the laser cutters, and even a robot that is still in design phase but will one day greet each person arriving at the door. Tanner also introduced Elliott to another 11-year-old who is equally excited about computers. My only sadness was that Gene was not there to enjoy the week with us.
At his home, Elliott has always been quiet, in the background reading a book. I hardly knew him, but in our first hours alone, we talked more than we had in the past ten years. Even though I did not understand all the geek talk, I loved to see his skills in computing.
What are your unique skills? Our heavenly Father gave each one of them to you as a gift. He too savors time alone with you, apart from everyone else. Have you spent time with Him today?