We have days where nothing seems to click and nothing seems to go smoothly. Yet, despite how rotten a day may seem, there is always *something* that gives me a glimmer of hope. Something that I can reflect on and know that regardless of all of the back talk, disobedience, and defiance that may come my way in one day, these two kids of mine are kind, loving and generous.
This morning started out as 'one of those days'. From the moment the kids woke up, they were arguing, bickering, yelling, being rude to one another, and to me. Multiple time outs, tantrums, toy restrictions, and, to be honest, too much yelling on my behalf, all before 10:00am! Then...the *something* happened.
I have to backtrack just a bit to what happened yesterday. We were at a stop light while running errands and Analise noticed a homeless man standing on the corner. She asked what the sign he was holding said. I told her he was asking for money, most likely because he did not have a house to live in, or food to eat. Then as we drove along she said, "Hey! I have a piggy bank with money in it! We could give him my money since he doesn't have any. We have a house to live in and food to eat, so I can give him my money so he can have some."
I instantly got tears in my eyes and told her that she was right, we could do that sometime. She then said, "Mom, there are so many people who don't have houses to live in and food to eat. We could help someone every day and there would still be people who need houses. But you told me that we can help one person at a time." She asked me to pray for him too. So we did.
Which brings us back to today. As I mentioned, it started out as 'one of those days'. While in her room (after being sent there for talking back to me), Analise came up with a great idea. She came running out of her room jumping up and down and talking so fast I could hardly understand her. She decided that she wanted to find the homeless man we saw yesterday and help him. This was her own idea and she was so excited about it. She came up with a list of everything she thought he would need.
She drew a picture to make him happy which said "I'm praying for you" on it.
- homemade card from Analise
- an anonymous note from me explaining that he was cared for and prayed for along with a few Bible verses for encouragement
- homemade lunch
- bottle of water
- shower puff
- body soap
- baby wipes
As we prepared everything and packed it just right in our Trader Joe's canvas bag, we prayed that we would be able to find the same man, and if we couldn't find him that we would find *just* the right person to give this gift to. We drove back to the spot where we saw him yesterday and wouldn't you know...he was there again. As we rolled up to him, I motioned him over and explained that we saw him yesterday and didn't have anything to give at the time, but that my daughter kept thinking about him and she and her brother came up with the idea to provide him with this bag. Because he was special. Because he was cared for. Because he was not alone. His face lit up, as he graciously accepted our gift. He said thank you many, many times. He beamed at Analise and Jameson and thanked them for being so kind. We wished him a good day and headed home for lunch.
As we were driving home Analise said, "I think he was happy. He will like the pelican I gave him." Jameson yelled, "That man will like my helicopter too!" Then she added, with a huge smile on her face, "We helped one person today. My heart is happy right now."
While the rest of the afternoon was far from butterflies and roses around here, and their bedtime couldn't come soon enough for me, I do have my *something* for today to look back on to be reminded that in the midst of 2 and 3 year old chaos, these little people really do understand how to love others in real and tangible ways.
Aside from helping with some church functions over the years and giving a few dollars here and there, this was the first time I have done something like this. My kids surprise me beyond belief. I am so thankful that these two little people were given to us. They challenge us and encourage us to actively help change the world -- one person at a time!
Have you ever helped someone in need? How so?