I’m Passionate about Teaching My Children . . . Service to Others
Last week my children and I were visiting the doctor in a questionable part of town. (This doctor believes in caring for inner-city kids, which I love!) We were in a small strip mall, and I’d just loaded up all the kids when my 3-year-old daughter, Alyssa, noticed a man in a wheelchair approaching us. He was an older, African American man with only one leg. He was thin, but he had kind eyes. He motioned to me, and instead of starting my engine I rolled down the window.
“Ma’am, do you happen to have a few dollars for food? I’m so hungry.”
Personally, I don’t believe in giving out money. I’ve seen what it’s used for by those whose addictions have a hold of them, but I will—when it is possible—help with food.
“Sir, I don’t have cash to give you, but I have some food here.” And I did! It “just so happened” that after Bible study that morning, my leader gave me a sack lunch because she knew I couldn’t stay for fellowship. I handed over the sandwich and cinnamon rolls.
I also had donuts. You see, it also “just so happened” that I’d found a Mexican bakery that morning and had bought some special treats for my grandma. After handing over the lunch, I pulled the largest donut from the box and handed that over, too.
“Ma’am?” the man asked, his eyes bright. “Is this cream-filled?”
“I’m not sure, sir.”
He didn’t wait to check. He stuck his finger into the donut and a smile lit his face. “It is!” He thanked me, and then he rolled out of the way of the car and started eating that donut with gusto.
My children ages 6, 3, and 3had been quiet during the whole exchange. But as soon as we pulled out, Alyssa piped up, “Mom, we need to pray for that man!” And then, without hesitation, all three children began praying for him, out loud. It was like a mini tent revival happening in the backseat!
We’d driven just a few blocks away, when Bella, age 6, piped up next. “Mom, does that man have a home?”
I told her I didn’t know.
“Mom, we have to go back. We have to put him in our car!” Tears filled her eyes. “He can live with us, Mom. We have an extra bed!”
Tears filled my eyes, too, at her compassion. Yes, we did have an extra bed—the bottom bunk in her room. No, I wasn’t going to go get the man and have him sleep there, but we talked then about keeping extra snacks in the car for situations just like this.
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