Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Can

A few weeks ago #1 came to me and asked what we were doing to help the homeless.  I told him that we were not doing anything right now to help the homeless and asked him if he would like to do something.  He said, "yes," and immediately began gathering things from around the house that he could take to the shelter, drawing pictures and writing notes.  It was almost bedtime and I was thinking we would look into it later; he was thinking we would take the stuff there that night.  He was consumed with concern to the point of tears.

I wanted to go to bed and I don't know if I would have taken him seriously at all if was not for another child I know that changed a whole community a few years ago.  In my hometown a little boy named David asked his parents, "Who feeds the people who don't have food at Christmas?"  His mom and dad took him seriously and from his little heart a huge community effort was born.  Now Davo's Diner feeds hundreds of needy people every Christmas Day.

I believe that children are born with a desire to love and help others.  They believe the best in people and assume that all problems have an answer that is within their grasp.  As adults we often become too jaded or too blinded by busyness to selflessly help others.  By the time I have ran the mom marathon of feed, clean, drop off, pick up, educate, mend, inspire, hug and kiss goodnight the last thing on my mind is, "Who else can I be of service to?". 

Is this wrong of me to feel this way?  No, I don't think so.  I am tired.  I am not mean.  So, that was my dilemma.  I didn't  really want something else to do.  And then I looked at my child.  The same kid who would rather lose all Wii privileges for a week than share a Skittle with his siblings was making a pile of his most prized possessions to share with people he had never met. This was a window of opportunity that may not come my way again.  Could I really look him in the eye and tell him that we didn't have time?  That we couldn't help the homeless because we have soccer on Saturdays?

The answer is no, I couldn't.  I had to dig deep and remind myself that his character is more important than my comfort.  When we decided to become parents we did not just want a baby.  We wanted to nurture and grow a human being that could make the world better in the future than what it is was then.  I will be honest.  I had no idea how much that was going to require from me and many days I feel extremely inadequate.  I can't even grow flowers.  Why did I ever think I could grow a child?

And then I calm down and realize that he is not wanting me to find a cure for cancer.  He wants me to help him find a way to help the homeless.  I can do that.  I can email Family Promise and set up a tour.  I can agree to set our family up to be volunteers.  I can take the time to show my kids that they can make a difference.  I can.  You can.  The truth is - we both should.

1 comment:

  1. When we remember that life is a day at a time and sometimes a moment at a time, we have many more possibilites and can focus on what we can do right then in the moment for ourselves, but mostly for others. Truly when we are serving others-- our joy will be full. What a great blog. Thanks for teaching and inspiring me.