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Appreciating the small blessings with the wonder of a child.

May 28, 2015

After 9 1/2 years you would think I would just become numb to the magic that unfolds before my eyes…but just as the eyes of a child are filled with wonder as they watch the seeds of a dandelion travel out from a mere breath, you have allowed me that same thrill. You let me speak of the needs, you hear, you respond and meet those needs creating ripples that travel with just as much ease as those little white seeds in a gust of wind.

And I get to sit and watch them with wonder, gratitude, amazement and love.

You donated more than 100 bikes and set smiles in place on young and not so young. Many children received a “new” bike, some their very first bike (like our 10 year old friend who was anxious to finally learn how to ride!), and you put wheels under 8 adults who will use your donation to transport them to their local places of employment.

You have helped to raise, donate, and offer funds to provide some very needed gas cards, food assistance, car repairs, and meet the cost of a few difficult situations, providing hope in what appeared to be hopeless situations.

You have offered furniture that has filled a void.

You have offered to move the furniture, assist with local hands on Mission Work, and stepped forward to help be the change that our corner of the world needs.

What levels me and cements this silly smile on my face are the needs that are met that seem so small in the large scheme of things, but so very pressing to those who need.

One that has just simply been knocked to the mat so many times has yet had the wind knocked from him once again.

Mom left a couple years ago. He pulled it together knowing the kids needed him.

Hard adjustment for the two children she left behind but I honestly will tell you the kids are truly no worse for wear, in fact the older child has been showing such amazing growth and development I can see how this situation appears to be the better situation for a emotionally healthier home, except for the financial struggles.

Single dad with two young mouths to feed, plus his own.

Thankfully Grandpa lives with them so that Dad can work, though it is what some would view as a very menial position here in our community, he holds this position, walks to and from work and is a reliable employee.

Dad has been battling a hernia for over a year now but simply gutting through it until his body refused to ignore it any longer.

Dad had surgery last week. Released from hospital with an 8″ wound. State insurance denied to fill the prescription for pain medicine. His doctor called the insurance company and was furious at their decision stating that an 8″ wound and hernia surgery should be “reason enough”. They granted the prescription to be filled but Dad couldn’t afford the $80 price tag. Ibuprofen would have to do.

He saw the doctor yesterday and was told it would be at least 6 more weeks before he could release him to return to work.

There is no sick time for him.

No disability.

No financial assistance.

Just riding this wave out as he has done so many times in the past.

Yet today when we talked, he smiled. I couldn’t help but be impressed. I know of others who have had setbacks less detrimental and they are seeing the sky as falling.

He knew this was temporary.

For this family some times the needs have been so many that I often feel my own wind knocked from me.

Today after talking with Dad the needs are basic: food, gas for the car (to get to the doctor), and diapers for the 3 year old. I looked at my young friend and said “Diapers?” He shyly looked back and smiled. I’ve known this little one since the day he entered this most difficult life that he would learn to accept as “the norm”.

Dad said he has done very well during the day but needs them at night still. So I asked the size; size 5.

Grandpa said they would just need enough to get through a week or two until his check came in.

Grandpa’s social security was not meant to cover the costs for a family of 4.

I told him I wouldn’t have time today to go but would go get some tomorrow and stop by tomorrow night to visit.

Then within an hour after that conversation I was asked to pick up a donation, on my lunch break, of items that someone didn’t need anymore and wanted to know if I could find a home for.

I have to confess sometimes I get tired of the picking up and moving items around. But this was just one of those lessons for me as well. God is constantly molding me and sitting back and awaiting for me to release my gladiator grip on the pen that He is using to etch out the chapters in my book of life.

God says to allow yourself to be a conduit of His work and to do so with a willing heart.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” ~ Philippians 2:3-5

Sometimes my heart is willing but my attitude, to be blunt, stinks.

I pulled up, hurried in and started loading my Jeep with what was being so generously offered from one who can to one who needs.

Then I got to the bottom of the box.

Guess what one of the items was?

Yep.

A pack of Huggies Diapers Size 5.

If only you could’ve seen my reaction.

Picture the face of a 4 year old who just blew into the Dandelion seeds and sees them float off like wishes in the wind.

The woman what was near me was the unsuspecting victim of my excitement.

She wasn’t even the one that left the items for me but she was in my path!

I looked at her with such a look of incredible excitement I knew she knew my secret (as my husband knows very well)….I’m a few pieces short of a full pack of gum.

I told her the story of the “simple yet imperative” request then I asked her to guess what was in the box of donations.

She was probably thinking “What can I say that will make her go away????”

Then I told her “I needed size 5 diapers and they are in here!!”

I skipped away (ok in my head I was skipping) and said loudly (probably disturbingly loudly):

I just love when that happens. God is good. My friends are wonderful.”

I heard her say “Yes He is”, and knew she was relieved to have the door close and me clear of her perimeter surely thanking God that I was not allowed to carry a firearm.

So tonight I’m working on putting the finishing touches on the Hope and Friendship Summer 2015 Events flyer full of events that we will engage in together to make great things happen and acts of compassion become outreaches of love, hope and friendship: Mission Stay Saturdays, YEAH Day Lunches, Kid’s trips, UnBirthday Party #9, Family Pool Party, Food, personal care, school supply collections and distributions. All of these offerings of assistance to those who need within our arm’s reach would not be offered without those who care to meet those needs. Not one person makes this happen. For this family I just told you of is just one of so very many friends who needs even just the surplus, extras, smallest of acts of kindness to help pull them off of the mat.

Not one event, outreach, act of compassion meets all needs. It is many parts, many offerings, many hands and feet that have created these amazing ripples that have only gained strength in 9 ½ years and I only see us banding together to make them reach further, impact greater, and lift more friends up off the mat to a self sufficient upright position where they can and will return the outstretched hand.

I know this to be true because it is and has already happened over and over and over.

I am the luckiest person in the entire world because I get to be the conduit. I have the best friends, the greatest role, the most amazing view, and have the wonder of a child and gratitude to my Father, both of them. My father that, though he left this earth in 2005, set this fire in me to continue to carry out what I saw him doing: offering what he could, as he was able, at every single opportunity presented to him. And the Father who has put me on this path, to this mission, in this corner of the world to allow Him to move people, to lift the spirits, hearts, and bodies of those who have been knocked to the mat and breath in them a glimmer of hope, and unconditional love of un-judging friendship.

The seeds of compassion have once again taken flight and are in the air tonight.

May you be completely blessed, my friend, for you have continually and repeatedly blessed those you don’t even ask to know, but whom I want you to know do appreciate you, and who hope to one day repay you for your kindness and compassion.

I am so very thankful for you.

Know I tell Him that every single day.

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