For 27 years I’ve posted their faces on my refrigerator and office cabinets, memorizing their smiles and imagining the stories behind their eyes. Their pictures serve as memory markers – reminding me to DO MORE than just send a check each month to care for their most basic needs. Reminding me to BE MORE than an entity thousands of miles away. Reminding me to SEE MORE than just their todays.
So I write, and I send pictures and scripture. I create opportunities to exchange small moments of our lives. And in these limited opportunities, I let them know how precious and loved they are. I point them toward hope and I encourage them to dream. But most importantly, I pray…not only for their today’s but also for their tomorrows. Because I know the heart of God to shape and mold in the most unexplainable and remarkable ways.
And although the faces have changed as these precious children come and go from their third world communities, their circumstances are all the same. Their lives mirror the lives of so many in desperate poverty. The landscape of their world doesn’t overflow with joy and dreams. Plenty isn’t part of their vocabulary.
Their choices aren’t where to eat or even what to eat. It’s all they can do to hope that they will eat.
So sending a little bit of money each month to make sure these children have at least one meal a day and fresh, clean clothing on their frail bodies and a warm meal in their stomachs each day is really never enough. Until I remind myself of all the multiplying God can do with an offering given in faith.
I never want to be the one person who walks by such need. But such immense need is overwhelming. And like everyone else, I wonder what difference my small part is really making. All too often, I choose to turn my gaze to greener pastures.
And then in a moment’s glance toward those adopted smiles, my doubts are stilled. In spite of the odds, I can’t think like that. I may never see the children whose lives I have trickled love into for 27 years, but that doesn’t mean the investment will be returned empty. Not in God’s economy!
We cannot crucify love before it has a chance to transform a life.
We cannot stifle what appears to be the smallest slice of generosity before it has a chance to produce a smile or a laugh.
We cannot squash an opportunity for planting hope simply because we can’t grasp the power of one.
Because there’s truth in the power of one…
Christmas is coming – a time for extravagant generosity.
The stores are filled with treasures and sweet treats to quench the longings of every child to overflowing. Yet these children are among those who may never experience the joy of unwrapping a gift. These tiny hearts with eyes that captivate the coldest heart may never experience the pure joy of a surprise.
How can that be?
When one simple act can change all that.
It may be small, and it may only be a trickle of extravagance.
But how grateful I am for the opportunity to surprise…even one!