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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Dear Mr. President

Check out Abraham Lincoln’s image on a penny or $5 bill. It’s hard to imagine the 16th president of the United States without his trademark whiskers. But when he was running for office in 1860, Lincoln didn’t have a beard. That year he received a letter from an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell, who lived in Westfield, N.Y. She said the presidential candidate would look better with facial hair. Grace suggested the change might even get him more votes.

A few days later, Lincoln wrote back. He said he had never worn a beard and wondered whether people would find it silly if he suddenly changed his appearance. Yet Lincoln did grow a beard.

The next year, Lincoln stopped in Grace’s town as he traveled by train to Washington, D.C., to begin his new job as president. Lincoln asked if Grace was in the crowd. When the girl came forward, Lincoln shook her hand and asked how she liked his new look. Today, a bronze statue in Westfield’s center depicts the now-famous meeting between Grace and the president.

Grace wasn’t the only kid who got Lincoln’s attention. Shortly after Lincoln became president, a boy named George Evans Patten met him and shook his hand. But when George told his friends and teacher, they didn’t believe him. Word got back to Lincoln, who sent George a note to show his schoolmates.

The president wrote, “To Whom it may concern: I did see and talk with Master George Evans Patten, last May, at Springfield, Illinois. Respectfully, A. Lincoln.” A collector recently bought that letter for $60,000.

It’s neat to think about the president taking time for kids. Some adults seem to think important people are too busy for children. That’s how Jesus’ disciples acted when boys and girls came to see Jesus. The disciples told the kids to go away. But Jesus didn’t want them to go away. Jesus welcomed them.

“And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:16, NIV).

Jesus loves kids. He always has time to hear and answer your prayers. Jesus wants to be your closest friend.

— Christina Quick

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