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Who Reads Johnny?

Jesus knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.  –John 2:25  On the night when Jesus was betrayed He could read every disciple.  That night all twelve abandoned Him.  Still, Jesus loved them, even Judas.  How would Jesus read you and me today?  –Pastor Scott

WHO READS JOHNNY?  by Gerhard Frost

I knew a tall man once
who endeared himself to children
because he took them seriously.
He respected them as persons
And proved it by reaching down to their level.
I mean this, literally;
he would stoop down, kneeling sometimes
to look into their eyes
and to really hear them.
He played with them,
but never as toys,
for he knew that no person is ever a toy.

In education, as in all human relationships,
the question is not so much,
why Johnny can’t read
as, who reads Johnny?

Our Lord knew what was in people.
He read well and carefully
each person’s mind and heart.
Love’s library is people;
it reads the individual
and aims to see and understand
each person, one by one.
If we care, we will be alert
to mood and feeling.

We will know that our reading assignment,
as teachers or parents,
is that living, feeling,
learning person.

In more ways than one,
life’s most important task
is to learn to read.

Gerhard Frost (1909 – 1988) was a Lutheran Pastor, a college and seminary professor, and a poet.  A student and friend of his described him this way, “…beloved by all who knew him. He had a Lincolnesque combination of strength and quietness about him.”  That is an apt description of Gerhard Frost when I met him in 1978.  As a guest speaker, he read his poetry at my internship congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Wadena, MN.