Sunday, August 9, 2009

I have been praying lately that God would continue to stretch my vision and my heart for people and needs all around me and to somehow transfer that passion along to my children.  Today I was in the grocery store with my daughter Annie, 6 and my son Koty 4.  I was just thanking God for the gift of being able to push the cart and walk around the store ( It's amazing how that "drudgery" can become such a joy when it has been taken away from you!:) when I rounded the corner to find such a moment.  My heart was crushed when I glanced down an aisle to find an elderly woman in a wheelchair trying to look for an item.  She had an old wheelchair which she was scooting along in, with the use of one leg. ( The other leg had been amputated above the knee.)  She was holding a shopping basket with her hands as she scanned the aisle for her purchases.  There were many people passing her on the aisle and standing beside her.  Yet, no one was offering assistance in any way and were actually huffing with annoyance that she would have' the audacity' to get in their way as they continued to steam roll through the aisle.  I glanced at my kids, realizing that this was one of those teachable the same time turning my cart around to go down the aisle to see if we could assist her.   I hobbled up to her with my cane, at the same time trying to put out of my mind how comical this scene must look like (here I've got my own limitations..haha).  When I reached her I simply asked, "Is there something I could help you find?"  She was taken aback and so I repeated the question.  After locating the cocktail sauce that was at the very top of the shelf and having a quick interchange, I asked if there was anything else she needed help with.  "No," she answered still a little dumbfounded.  I was so surprised and thankful when my kids responded kindly and loving to her as we turned to go.  Annie gave her a winning and very authentic smile and simply told her 'Thank you for letting us help you, I hope you have a good day."  Koty smiled too, and chimed in, "You are special."  Where they got it, I'm not quite sure, but I turned quickly trying to hold back the tears.  I was thankful that God had allowed a moment for my kids to see and experience the meaning of 'love your neighbor'.  A little while later,  we spotted her again in the frozen section trying to manhandle the door and balance on one leg to reach for the chicken nuggets.  Annie responded quickly and ran to hold the door open for her.  Koty followed suite by asking, How can we help?"  by the time I caught up with them, I reached in to grab the nuggets and we were able to talk  a bit.  She was a single grandmother whose daughter had just come down with a sickness and now she would be raising her grandchildren.  She just wanted to be able to pick up a few treats for there arrival. My heart was so heavy...why do we live not seeing the needs around us.  Now that I've been sick, I am overwhelmed with the need... everyday that surrounds us..yet most of the time we are simply too busy to do anything about it.
 We went our way and then , just as we were checking out, she scooted up behind us.  She wanted to thank us for noticing her need and helping her.  The kids faces were shining! They were more excited than ever to know that they had been a blessing.  That started more dialogue on the way home between the three of us.  They were so energized to be of help to someone they couldn't wait to find the next need!  
How exciting is that?!  It is what I long for in my children.  To have a selfless that they act on , not just talk about.  That their lives will be lived in a way that honors and values others.  Especially those in need.
 What are we doing on a daily basis to help those around us?  Most of the time we are so consumed with our schedules and plans, that we are just like the rest of the people on that aisle... frustrated with interruptions or delays, rather than recognizing opportunities to live out generosity, kindness and love.
If for no other reason...this sickness of mine has been an instrument used from God to open my eyes.  To see the vital, rather than the urgent.  Those are the things I want to be intentional about.. every day.

"And you must the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.....equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  no other commandment is greater than these."  Mark 12:30-31


  1. thank you for that reminder. Bless you and your kids.. you are obviously doing a great job raising them. you are an inspiration and encouragement!

  2. You are a great role model for your kids, I applaud you and how special you are! "Give me Your eyes.." (by Brandon Heath) comes to mind, so many of us just don't SEE those who need help. God bless you for SEEING the need and teaching your children to do the same. I hope to instill that legacy in my children one day as well!