Thursday, July 28, 2011

Their Story is My Story

Piles of construction paper. Glue. Stickers. Scissors. Bits and pieces of paper. As though the craft bin exploded in the living room. It overwhelmed me...overwhelms me. And in all honesty part of it still sits on the living room floor.  The aftermath cast a shadow over the project. Over the impact. Over the reasons. Over The reason.

...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me...

As I walk up the stairs today their pictures hit me anew. I remember when I first hung them there, it was a daily reminder to pray. I wonder now as I touch their cheeks and pause to pray, how often do I walk by them, do I forget to remember them, do I let the distance between our worlds beckon me from standing in the gap for them?

Today as I look at their pictures and glance over my shoulder at the pile in the living room I'm moved nearly to tears. Really? A pile of construction paper and craft materials is enough to derail me? When she sleeps in a house with dirt floors and he awaits our letter for a glimpse of Jesus?

I pick up the homemade folders stuffed to the brim with glued-on, cut-out, colored-in grace, and sit on the couch. What will she feel as she holds this? Will he know our love? Will she see we are rooting for her? Will she understand that Jesus is so much bigger than the poverty she faces? Can we love him bigger than the reality of his circumstances? I ponder that.

When we began sponsoring children with Compassion it was for our kids. How desperately we wanted to expand their worlds. And, while their worlds are still rooted in princesses, trucks and backyards swings whose to know if we will succeed in giving them a God-sized vision for helping those we can. But while we wait for their outcome it is changing mine.

I worry for her sister who always seems to be ill.
I wonder if his parents know Jesus.
I ask the Lord to help us find away to visit, to understand, to look into their eyes, to give them a Jesus-filled hug, to tell others their stories, to be more than a check.

I've come to understand that their story is my story. That God placed these precious babies in the path our family so we could share what He is blessing us with (monetarily, emotionally and spiritually) and so that we can become a family that cares. That understands our knees will take us farther than any vehicle in the journey toward these children; for petitioning the Throne of Grace on their behalf is an awesome responsibility.  That sending letters lets them, their parents, and others know we care. He cares. That the job of a sponsor is much larger than a check or automatic deduction. It is hope, sealed in envelopes stuffed with Scripture, joy and crayon drawn love. It is prayer and belief. It is a faith in my God that says the least of these are His and their mine.

As I pick up the pile of crafts on the floor I will count each scrap of paper and each blessing. I will pray for the translators that go through our envelopes, the people that will deliver them, the folks that help the kids write and read the letters, the parents of the children as they bring them home to share with the family, and the future. A future safe in Christ. That their love, faith and strength is a force to be reckoned that changes the world.

Father, bless these little children. Help us to shower your love on them. Place others in their paths that will point them straight to You. Help me, Father, to be patient with my children and to find ways to help their worlds expand to include all your children, and their future to be full of visions and passion to change their world for You. Amen.

1 comment:

Brett G said...

That is a good story, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed your part about crying when you see the pile of construction paper. I know how you feel of sorts. I can be drawn to tears with a simple photo of the children at times.
What a good reminder that the sponsorship is just as much for us as it is the children we support.