I had an amazing mother. She did the best she could, considering that I was who she was saddled with. Ours was not a religious home so her training in child development probably came from the pages of Readers Digest.
The one prayer that we said together every night was enough to scare any kid to not want to close their eyes. It started out nice, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” but ended with “if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” For me, the dying part and stealing my soul, wasn’t comforting. Then, because I was “horizontally gifted” or what we called “fat” back in the day, I was given the nickname “Tubber”. So, when I came home crying because of all the name calling, mom told me to say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” I tried that only to find that it encouraged the kids to throw rocks at me. So, finding my life in danger, it brought a whole new context to the evening prayer, “if I should die before I wake.”
All that to say: kids aren’t the only ones made fun of. We at Bread of Life talk with adults all the time who are put down because they are living on the streets. Our ministry is to love the hurting and do all we can to bring hope to the downhearted.