"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

14 November 2011

Loving Other People's Children

One of the books I read while in graduate school completing my master's degree was Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children. As an educator, I believe it is crucial to never forget that the faces before you are children who are - hopefully - much loved by their parents.

Children have always held a soft spot in my heart, and ever since Brennan entered my world, my eyes and my heart have been opened to a whole new dimension of aching for those who have little, whether it be money, love, opportunities.

As we shopped for gifts for our Operation Christmas Child this year, I kept thinking that this may be the ONLY Christmas gift this baby (we selected the "Boy, 2-4 years" category because it was the closest to Brennan's age) would ever get in his entire childhood. Knowing this made us want to pack that box the best we could, and yet, we struggled with "useful" (toiletry items, educational material) and "delightful" (toys). In the end, we packed a t-shirt, a light sweater, a fat coloring book of animals (it was hard to find one that wasn't based on some silly kids' TV show or movie, but we found one!), a set of 24 extra-thick crayons for little fingers, a small soccer ball, an extra-soft plush teddy bear, four toddler toothbrushes, a big tube of toddler toothpaste, some Dove bar soap for sensitive baby skin, and a Christmas card from our family.

 I've also been writing to our Compassion child more frequently now that the organization has made it possible to write to our child online. Not only is it a really neat feature to have simply by the nature of making it easier for sponsors to write their children, but Compassion offers four different themed templates for the letters. You can even include photos! I've used the tool twice in the past month, and I am hoping to continue writing our fifteen-year-old Madeleine twice a month.

In Bible study last week, we talked at length about what Jesus meant when he gathered the children around him and referred to them as "the least of these." I believe God has a tender spot for children, and I also believe that He has put a smidgen of that tenderness in my heart. I pray that He will always keep my heart soft for children, my own and other people's.

Will you pack a box today?

No comments:

Post a Comment