exuberant vessels of promise and light

Jesus said – “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

IMG_9739So yesterday this happened. That’s right, our five-year-old grandson, David, graduated from preschool. So now he’s all ready for Kindergarten in September.

I know, I know, the idea of dressing small children in caps and gowns, then watching them receive rolled up diplomas just like university graduates earning real degrees, is – well – adorable! That’s right, it ranks up there with rainbows, butterflies, puppies, and cute cat videos; I admit it, cynic that I can be at times, I loved every minute.

The graduation was gratuitous cuteness at its best.

This particular occasion was bittersweet in a way because the school – St. David’s Episcopal Preschool in Richmond – is closing its doors tomorrow. David’s teacher has worked with the program twenty-two years, and she made a point of saying she believed God gave her this particular crew of children to make her final classroom experience extra special.

IMG_9773Yesterday I wrote about exceptional older adults, and Wednesday I posted a story about my parents’ 65th anniversary. So it makes good sense to focus on the other end of the age spectrum today.

Take a long look at these photographs. If you still harbor any doubts regarding the idea that the future is worth our very best efforts, our most creative ideas, and our most generous investment, then let this post soak in. If that doesn’t work, then I’m more than convinced you will experience a profound change of heart if only you invest some time in the company of preschoolers.

What a world our grandchildren have been born into! And what an amazing opportunity is ours to make a positive difference via investing in such exuberant vessels of promise and light.

Beks and yours truly

I like that – “Exuberant vessels of promise and light.” I think it captures the children nicely. Think about it – our Creator did not intend for children to merely survive, or get by, or make do; no, God intends the absolute very best for these precious little ones, and he expects us to be the ones who use our gifts, our resources, and our influence to make it happen.

“Believe me,” Jesus said on more than one occasion, “you don’t want to be the ones responsible for causing any of these precious children to stumble.”

So how do you plan to respond to the challenge?


Family life The Grandaddy Letters Uncategorized

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This post touched me deeply. I taught for 10 years at First Presbyterian Day School in Fort Worth and 18 years in public school at Title I schools for the economically disadvantaged. These were vastly different types of schools…one with children with every opportunity available (but would they take those opportunities responsibly?) and the other schools filled with children who rarely had ever been out of their impoverished neighborhoods. Opening their eyes to the wonders of the outside world was the most challenging and rewarding challenge of my career…really, of my lifetime. As different as the schools happened to be, they had some significant similarities. They were filled with children eager to learn, children who needed positive re-enforcement and children who dearly wanted to be successful. These goals were much easier to attain for the former than for the latter. On their graduation days from Pre-K or Kindergarten or First Grade and so on…we always reminded all of the children to put their best effort into every task…and we reminded them that we would always be there for them as they moved through school. It has been an honor to remain in touch with so many of the children and their parents…to help them refrain from “stumbling”.


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