I think it's been at least a year since I posted on this blog, but there is so much on my mind lately that I feel the need to revisit this old blog, dust off the cobwebs, and begin again. God has been challenging me lately as only He can. Stretching my world views, changing my heart toward the lost, lonely, needy people of this world, my world. I'm reading two challenging books right now, by two amazing women. The first I'm almost finished with (and it's a good thing since it's due back at the library!). It's called Kisses from Katie, by Katie Davis. You can find her blog here: http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/2012/03/april-2011-sometimes-my-16-passenger.html She is amazing. She left behind a comfy life here in America and moved to Uganda, adopted 14 girls and started a non profit to help meet the needs of those around her living in desperate poverty, sickness and disgusting living conditions. The thing that God is pressing into my heart right now through this book is the challenge that most Christians care about the hungry, thirsty, sick people on this planet. But do we really care for them? Is it enough to care about them? Jesus said, "Feed my sheep". Do we do that? She talks about the children that she works with, and the children she has adopted, and the process they go through learning to accept the love she lavishes on them. How she must first teach them what love is here on earth so that she can teach them what it means to be loved by a heavenly Father. How do children who have never had a bed, never been held and kissed every day, never had full bellies, or clean clothes, or someone to give them medicine when they are sick learn to accept that love when it's offered?
A couple of weeks ago I dropped the big kids off at preschool and took Josiah to the grocery store with me. We bought groceries, piled them in the car, and headed back to pick up the big kids. On the way out of the parking lot I stopped at the light and looked to my left where a girl of about 17 was sitting with a sign asking for money, food, or a sleeping bag. I rolled down my window and asked if she'd still be there in an hour, I had a sleeping bag at home. She said yes. So I picked up Grace and Sam, and took them home, explaining on the way what we were going to do when we got home. Grace asked why she needed a sleeping bag and food, and I told her that she had no money, no place to sleep. She said, "Mommy, can I give her my giving jar?" You see, a few weeks ago, we set up the kids with a money system. Three jars or piggy banks that are for giving, saving, and spending. We had told them they could give their giving jar to God, or to someone who needed it more than we did. So Grace immediately got home, took a bag and dumped her jar in it. She then grabbed a protein bag, put that in, followed by the little new testament she got at a festival last weekend (and which she had literally carried around and slept with for the past 4 days). Wow. Talk about feeding the hungry. Talk about faith like a child. Sam immediately followed suit, we packed up the car again, and went to find this girl who needed this stuff far more than we did. I planned on asking her if I could buy her lunch, maybe take her home for a shower or something. When we found her again, the car in front of me had bought her about 5 bags of groceries (which she had no idea how she was going to carry) so she didn't need lunch. Turns out she was also with someone else, and was on her way to meet up with him. So in the end we gave her the sleeping bag, Grace and Sam gave her their bags, and after talking for a few minutes we parted ways.
I can't stop thinking about this girl. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even ask her name. But I pray that she finds her way. She said she was heading to FL to see her mom. I pray that she makes it safely. I'm so proud of Grace for thinking of putting that little bible in there. Grace thought about feeding her in ways beyond her physical needs even before I did. And Grace is only five! I am finding I can learn so much from my little girl. She is wise beyond her years. Or maybe it's that faith like a child that Jesus says we all must have to enter the Kingdom. Either way it's challenging me to take another look at my comfy life and ask what God wants to do through me here, right where I am. Katie is quick to say that doing what she did and moving to Uganda is not what God wants for everyone. And I certainly don't believe it's what God is calling ME to do. But I want to try and keep my heart and my eyes open to what God does want me to do for those around me. (And I'm praying that my eyes would be more like those of my five year olds!)