In Week 42 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for the youngest person I know, Jannie Thompson.
Miss Jannie (as she’s affectionately known around my house) was one of the first people to welcome me when I visited Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church as a college student. If Ebenezer had a mascot, it would be Jannie Thompson. She is the personification of the down-home kindness and warmth that characterizes that fellowship.
I got to know Ms. Jannie mostly by serving with her in the youth ministry. Among the many things I’ve come to love about Ms. Jannie is her enthusiasm for life. Whatever the youth were doing, she was doing. It didn’t matter if it was kickball, jumping rope or racing, she was in it to win it.
She kept us grounded because she is unapologetically real. She is one of the kindest people I’ve met but she will slip off those shoes and earrings on you, if she has to. Because she was so real, our time together as a youth group was real. We didn’t pretend or play church. We wrestled with real problems, discussed what was happening today and talked about how to apply our faith to real life.
But perhaps what I appreciate most about Ms. Jannie was her openness and big heart. There were kids that came to our church hurt, confused and alone but always found a safe place with Jannie Thompson. I personally saw her be understanding, forgiving and take in scores of people into her life where she would love on them and where they would find healing. I was one them. I’m grateful. #52WoG