Sunday, August 03, 2008
Last week at one of my meetings, one of the moms did an activity with the kids that was really meaningful. She had them decorate paper bags and they talked about what they could put in them to give to people on the street if they saw someone in need. Mary Clare and Ellie created these "Homeless Bags" and were occupied with further decorations, cards, snacks, water bottles, and other special plans to fill them.
We happened to be driving to a nearby suburb later in the week, so I threw the Homeless Bags in the car just in case. Sure enough, on the way home from my parents' house while stopped in a long line at an intersection I caught sight of a woman holding a sign. I told the girls we would get to give out one of the bags and drove up to the woman and handed it to her. "God bless you!" she said. Her sign read "Living in the woods. Anything helps."
We spent the rest of the drive home talking about this lady and what it means to be homeless and prayed for her that night. Ellie kept suggesting she go to our bank to get some money. I had to explain how the money gets to the bank from Daddy's work! Mary Clare was very concerned that she hadn't put enough snacks in the bag...that we didn't buy the suggested toothpaste or toothbrushes to put inside...that she didn't put some coins from her piggy bank in the bag.
My heart melted at the charity she was showing. And I thought of how much she is like me. I always think back on things I could've done better...how I should've said something else...how I should've bought that other gift...I still regret my choice for the first dance at our wedding and frequently hear a song and wish I would've thought of it 7 years ago! How ridiculous is that! Steven got onto me a few weeks ago after I was questioning him about the appropriateness of a birthday gift purchase after the party was OVER! Needless to say, I don't want my children to share this trait. So I kept telling Mary Clare that the items in the bag were probably just what that lady needed. Maybe she already had a toothbrush and she could've gotten some gifts of money that day, but hopefully our small gifts of snacks, water, and a card saying "Jesus Blesses You" was just what she needed at that time.
I should've also reminded her that what we give in charity is really never enough. We can give financially, materially, and even offer our prayers for others. But Christ is the only one who can give what all of us really need. What we have to give is never enough. But he is more than enough.