The Potential To Change A Life

by SidewalkPhilosopher

Just imagine the potential you carry within you to change a life!

The lady was very friendly and the child recognized her from their church. They would talk for a few minutes each day and the child found it interesting that this adult took the time to ask about her day. And, even more important, seemed genuinely interested in what she had to say. Over the next few years, their friendship grew.

First Baptist Church, Pendleton, South Carolina

 

In the small town where she lived, a child found life to be lonely. Her confidence in herself was small and her ability to talk to people or make friends easily was almost nonexistent.  However, wherever she went, animals seemed to migrate to her, usually following her home, to the irritation of her parents.

On nice afternoons, she walked home from school. It was about two miles from her school to her own front door and she had strict orders not to stop along the way. It was a time when children could walk home from school and feel safe. This is a time that we find only in our memories today.

Many days, she would pass a house about half way home where, asleep in the sun, a big , yellow, tomcat would be lounging on the front porch. She knew she should go on her way, but seeing him there was so very inviting to a little girl of eight. As she sat on the step beside him, petting his soft fur, the elderly woman who lived there would sometimes come out to sit with her in one of the wooden rocking chairs on the porch.

The lady was very friendly and the child recognized her from their church. They would talk for a few minutes each day and the child found it interesting that this adult took the time to ask about her day. And, even more important, seemed genuinely interested in what she had to say.

Over the next few years, their friendship grew. The lady would ask her inside for milk and cookies at first. Later, she would sit at the piano and play for the child as the child sat on the arm of the large green, over-stuffed chair by the piano.

As the lady sang from her hymn book, she would ask the child to join in but she was much too shy. However, her friend was persistent and, in time, the child began to join in the songs so loved by her friend.

With encouragement from the lady, the child joined the children’s choir at church, sitting quietly on the back row. Even though she barely opened her mouth, her friend always bragged on her and told her she could hear her lovely voice. This encouraged the child to try harder and, in time, began to sing out and even sang a couple of solos…always for her friend.

"THE KEY TO ME"

by Eugenia S. Hunt

 My thoughts reach out

To lofty heights

That only the eye can see,

Amid the peaks

Of snowcapped wonder,

Here my soul is free.

 

As my voice soars

To reach its icy points,

I feel the warmth surround me.

Stepping back  

To gather strength,

Plunging deep inside me.

 

To find the depth,

The constant need,

To release, to find the key

To that single note,

The one that holds

The whole I’m here to be.

It took most of her teenage years to feel confidence in her talents but she did eventually come to realize she had something to offer, thanks to the efforts of her old friend.

I am telling you this story for a reason. There isn’t one person on this earth who does not have something special to offer others. And there isn’t one person who can’t find a way to encourage another.

Try telling a child you meet that they look pretty or you’re happy to see them and just watch their face light up. You never know…you may be influencing someone who will go on to do great things during their lifetime because of your kind words and encouragement.

Take a few minutes to talk to the elderly wherever you meet them...they are often lonely, but always filled with a world of knowledge. The benefits for them…and for you…will amaze you!

I know just how important this is from a personal stand point because I am the child of my story.

Were it not for Jenny Skinner, I would never have had the confidence to sing a note.

Since those days, I have sung for the Lord in churches from my little town of Pendleton, South Carolina, to Athens, Greece, North Dakota, and Florida as my husband and I have moved from place to place with the Air Force. I have also sung for weddings, Masonic charity events for the Shriner's Children's Hospital, and variety shows. I have worked with children all my life and was a foster parent with the Children’s Home Society of Florida. Now, I sing with a group, The Golden Tones, as we entertain the seniors in the senior living facilities around our area. Watching them come alive to the music is amazing!

My life has been filled with music and children because Jenny took an interest in a lonely little girl and realized the person she found inside had potential to reach others with a talent given her by the Lord.

As I age, I don’t sing as much as I used to but, whenever I do, I always remember Jenny. When I sing for the Lord, I feel God is still able to speak through Jenny, through me. It’s a good feeling to remember her sweet smile, as I once saw it, as she looked back at me from her pew where she sat with her beloved Arthur on Sunday mornings.

My hope is that I have influenced, at least, one of the children who have crossed my path over the years. I pray that my words in song have reached the heart of someone in need of God.

Use your life, your words, and your heart to encourage other people…we are all capable of being a Jenny Skinner to those around us.

Just imagine the potential you carry within you to change a life!

The First Hymn Jenny Taught Me!

"MAKE ME A BLESSING"

Out in the highway and byways of life,

Many are weary and sad;

Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,

Making the sorrowing glad.

 

Make me a blessing,

Make me a blessing,

Out of my life may Jesus shine;

Make me a blessing,

O Savior, I pray,

Make me a blessing to someone today.

 

Eugenia S. Hunt...age 10
Eugenia S. Hunt...age 10
Updated: 09/26/2015, SidewalkPhilosopher
 
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Who influenced you when you were a child? A teacher, a friend, a parent or grandparent? Tell us about them!


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Darlene C on 10/18/2015

Beautiful and very encouraging story!

SidewalkPhilosopher on 09/17/2015

Thank you, Cruise Ready...I am glad you enjoyed my story and very happy that you understood my intent in telling it.

CruiseReady on 09/17/2015

What a wonderful story. I was so hoping you would reveal the girl's identity, and was especially gratified to learn it was you. There's a beautiful lesson there for all of us.

SidewalkPhilosopher on 09/15/2015

Thank you everyone...I am glad you enjoyed my article. Ohme, you should remember Jenny and Arthur Skinner...they lived on Crouch Drive.

Mira on 09/15/2015

Nice page, Eugenia! I see you now play the piano too (it's on your profile page) :)

ohme on 09/15/2015

Beautiful and very inspirational

frankbeswick on 09/15/2015

A beautiful story.

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