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A shoebox of valentines

Helping children learn about God's care

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One year, my elementary school teacher made a special project of Valentine's Day. We brought shoeboxes from home and decorated them. These were our mailboxes. Then each student bought a packet of valentines or made valentines, one for each person in the class.

When the day came, we went from desk to desk delivering them. Everyone received a valentine from everyone else. No one was left out, and everyone went home with a shoebox full of valentines.

That year, I decided to do something a little different when I wrote my valentines. I decided to think of one good thing about each person I wrote to. It was fun! For instance, I thought about one girl who was very kind. One boy drew excellent pictures and made up interesting stories.

It was also good for me to think about the kids I didn't know very well. Everyone has good qualities. But sometimes we don't take the time to think about them. By the time I finished writing a note to each person, I was seeing something good about everyone in the class.

Actually, seeing good things about your friends is pretty easy. But seeing good in kids you don't know very well - or maybe don't like very much - makes you try harder. It means you've got to think spiritually. That means to see what God sees about someone. So instead of looking at things on the outside like clothes and hair, you see inside a person. You see them as the child of God.

Seeing that way helps you, too. I like something Mary Baker Eddy (the Founder of Christian Science) wrote in a book. She said that if you're nice to someone, even if they're not nice back, it makes you a better person (see "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 57, line 22).

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