Do you ever dwell on the enormity of a problem, get overwhelmed, and then walk away thinking how can I, just one person, make a difference? Or maybe...I don't have a lot of money to give...will my lowly $20 do any good? I know I've been guilty of feeling that way more times than I care to count. I often pray about it, pray about those involved...but shamefully fail to act.
Today I'm feeling a tug at my heart I recognize all too well. The kind of tug you can't ignore. I'm big on God winks and today I had two. I'm going to tell you about the second one first. But not in my words, hers are much better. Please read HERE. Julie's blog is one of my faves. She has a great big heart and I love her sense of humor.
Then back up to this morning with me for just a second. I'm pulling my hair out doing all the final preparations for tomorrow's big fundraiser for child abuse victims and I get a little slip of paper with an old friend's name & number and a "please call back". I call her, get her voice mail. She calls me back, I can hear her voice, she can't hear me. I call her back, get her voice mail. I never was able to talk to her - I will, I'm sure, but I now know why I needed to call her. God wanted to show me Step 2 before Step 1. You see my friend K.C. works for a nonprofit that can definitely use the Blessed to Bless bags. Photo Credit: Joy's Hope
And so there it is. Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away...just enough time to raid the travel & snack sections at Target & Walmart to make our own Blessed to Bless bags. I love that I can get Grace involved in something tangible to help others. I've been struggling thinking of ways to make "giving to others" an easier lesson to teach her. Above everything else I want my children to love the Lord with all their heart and to have a heart for helping others, a true sense of responsibility to those in need.
And so whether we make 5 or 50 it doesn't really matter. What matters is that we take a moment to step out from our comfort zone and just give....that we take our prayer and put it into action...that we GIVE INTENTIONALLY, meaning that we really search our hearts and give where we feel called to do so.
And to make sure I heard Him loud & clear, tonight God reminded me of an afternoon some 25 years ago. I was about 8, I think. It was the week of Thanksgiving. My mom, a single parent, was working three jobs to make ends meet - one as a physician at a public hospital, the other two running two private practices in two separate cities - yes, even as a physician...those were tough economic times in Puerto Rico where we lived.
She called me into the kitchen where she had pulled a big basket and together we pulled cans from our pantry and added perishable items from our fridge. She wrote them a note of encouragement but didn't sign her name. We then got in the car and drove to a "caserio", a government housing near where we lived. The kind of housing we'd always been told to avoid, for safety reasons.
My mom didn't say much, but she didn't have to. As soon as we pulled up we saw some school aged children running around barefooted, playing and digging through some trash cans. She called them over, they quickly came, unafraid of the stranger in the car. She handed them the basket and told them to run straight home and take it to their mama. I'll never forget the look in their faces, that little gleam of hope that children seem to be able to hold onto even under the direst of circumstances.
To this day I think about their mama and wonder how she felt when her littles walked in with enough food to cook a Thanksgiving dinner. I wonder about their conversation. I bet she thanked God for an answered prayer. And in my little 8 year old mind, I also remember wondering if she reprimanded them for talking to strangers. Funny the things we remember, isn't it?
That afternoon God used my mom to cast a ray of sunshine into that family's life. To tell them He would take care of them no matter what. Today I have a chance to keep that chain going. I'm making my Blessed to Bless bags, will you join me?