It's almost summer now and we've been talking about some fun things that we'll do over the next few months with the kids. Among others are special dates with mom or dad, a camping trip, play dates, a visit to the local amusement park etc. I was driving the other day with my girls who are 4 and 6, and my 4 year old said "Mom...I know what we can do!". I asked her what and she said " We can take some food to families who need it and maybe give them some money".
Yes, my four year old daughter wants to take food to hungry people and give money to those who could use it while I'm busy making plans about how to make her summer fun. I had to hold back the tears in the car as I told her what an awesome idea that was. My husband and I have prayed from Day 1 of finding out that we were pregnant with both of our children that they would be compassionate toward other people. It's humbling to see that prayer being answered at the tender age of four.
It was a good reminder for me that while I feel like my heart is in Africa, there are opportunities around me right here where I live to show compassion and serve somebody. Matt Redman has traveled around with Compassion International and says in The Art of Compassion "So all these experiences that I've been privileged enough to soak up in Africa or India have started to teach me something - a lesson that others have worked out long ago and without the air miles: that our comfort zones need to be challenged, that fear is not a barrier to action, that our choice to get involved with those whose lives are scarred by poverty is not one we take because we have all the answers or because we can fix the problems - but because we were not made to live in isolation. There aren't many of us who would have to drive more than an hour to find people living in poverty. Most of us could reach their homes in a few minutes. There aren't many cities in the world that don't have homeless people and there are very few communities that don't have individuals who are lonely or outcast, overlooked or ignored by the rest of us. And what's my point? That none of us is unable to have our comfort zones challenged by experiencing poverty face to face". So now the question becomes, will I? More on that soon.