She’ll go down in history—at least in our family history—as the best babysitter ever. “Ms. Jess,” as my kids called her, was wise, patient and fun. My kids loved being with her, and we loved leaving them with her because we were more than confident that Jess could not only handle emergencies but just as importantly could see our children and respond to them as persons. She had that gift, and that gift now makes her a wonderful pastor.
But according to my son Owen, her gifts were more mystical, even magical. One day after returning from prekindergarten, like a teenager Owen began rummaging around the kitchen looking for something to eat. Jess, recognizing it was snack time but knowing he should ask before taking anything, questioned him, “Owen, what are you doing?”