A Child of God with Wrinkles

“A Child of God with Wrinkles,” Friend, Feb. 2007, 30–31

A Child of God with Wrinkles

(Based on a true story)

All of you are children of the most High (Psalm 82:6).

On the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, Samuel’s ward Primary visited a nursing home. “We’ll each adopt a grandma or grandpa,” Sister Myers, the Primary president, said as the children gathered inside the building.

Five-year-old Samuel stayed close by his mother who was a Primary teacher. He looked around and was a little afraid. Some of the people were in wheelchairs. Others used walkers or crutches. One lady had tubes coming out of her nose.

“I’m scared,” he whispered to his mother.

“I know this can be a little scary,” his mother said. “Try to remember that all of these people are children of Heavenly Father, just like you. The only difference is that the people who live here are older.”

“A lot older,” Samuel said.

He felt better when the children started singing “I Am a Child of God.” That was his favorite song. The Primary chorister then led them in singing “When Grandpa Comes,” “A Happy Family,” and “Mother Dear.”

The grandmas and grandpas all clapped.

“We’re going to make valentines now,” Sister Myers said. She assigned each child a “grandma” or a “grandpa.”

Samuel discovered that his adopted grandfather was in a wheelchair. Samuel stuck out his hand and said, “I’m Samuel.”

“My name is Jackson Gaither,” the man said as he shook Samuel’s hand.

Mr. Gaither tried to cut the valentine from the red paper, but he couldn’t make the scissors open and close. “My hands don’t work so good any more,” he said.

“That’s all right,” Samuel whispered. Then he helped Mr. Gaither finish cutting out the heart. They wrote their names by each other and glued glitter all around their names.

Samuel held up his hands and looked at them. They were covered with glitter.

Mr. Gaither’s hands were also covered with glitter. He looked at Samuel and smiled. “Looks like we’re wearing as much glitter as that valentine.”

“I like glitter,” Samuel said.

“Me too,” Mr. Gaither said. He looked at the wrinkles in the heart from where he’d tried to cut it out. “It has a few wrinkles,” he said and winked at Samuel. “I guess that’s all right since I have some wrinkles too.”

Samuel winked back. Then he gave his adopted grandpa a big hug before he left.

“I wasn’t afraid of Mr. Gaither,” Samuel told his mother. “I remembered what you told me. He’s just a child of God with wrinkles.”

Illustrations by Julie F. Young