Monday, December 30, 2013

Teaching Compassion

Before becoming a mother, I devoted a large amount of time and energy to helping the elderly, homeless, and inner-city youth.  I volunteered weekly, attended multiple mission trips, and taught 5th grade to high-risk children.  Over the past three years, my time was instead spent completing grad school requirements, at home with family, and working.  Now that I stay home, I feel like my world is drastically smaller.  I miss being involved in the community, but I find it difficult to do so while toting around 4 kids age 2 and under.  I've made a conscious effort to include Jackson in conversations and activities that help him to empathize with his neighbors. 

My sister had the thoughtful idea to create cards and positive messages for our dear aunt.  She was recently diagnosed with cancer and will begin chemotherapy next week.  Though Jackson was more excited about using glue, colorful paper, and stickers, the activity provided an opportunity to have a conversation about caring for those who are sick.  I found it especially endearing that Jackson wanted me to give our aunt his Clifford and candy to make her feel better.  If only it were that simple.

One of the organizations I used to participate in during winter months was Room In the Inn.  Local area churches take a dozen or more homeless men and women to their church (assuming they have a gymnasium, kitchen, and showers).  A home cooked dinner, hot shower, air mattress, blankets, warm breakfast, and a bagged lunch are provided for each guest. While I am no longer able to complete many of the tasks, I was able to make goodie bags for each person one week.  I explained what we were doing and took Jackson to the Dollar Tree to pick out items for our bags.  He helped me assemble them once we got home.  I know Jackson does not understand that some people don't live in a house and eat whenever they want.  Again, I appreciate being able to have a conversation and teach him to love and care for those who may be struggling.

I pray that each of the kids will have a servant's heart and be able to positively impact their neighbors.

Make me a servant
Humble and meek
Lord let me lift up those who are weak
And may the prayers of my heart always be
Make me a servant
Make me a servant
Make me a servant today.

1 comment:

  1. Years ago, when God really hammered at my heart to learn to pray for my kids in a new way, I began to pray for each child by name that they would cultivate a servant's heart and find ways to serve. It really is amazing and humbling to watch your children grow in the truth.