Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Have a Little Compassion?

I have a history with sponsoring children. It's not necessarily a good one.

This is not the fault of the wonderful organizations that arrange child sponsorship and do all of the work. It's the fault of me.

It started in high school when my youth group decided at a Life conference to sponsor a little girl. I picked her out, she was about three and looked desperately sorrowful in her photo. About four months in, she fell through the cracks and we stopped sponsoring her as I went off to college and my youth leaders moved to a different state.

I decided to try it again in college with a few friends, but let's face it: college students don't really have the money. I can still remember this little girl, her name, her country, it haunts me, because again, she fell through the cracks.

I stayed away from sponsoring children through the rest of college, and early working years. (I suppose I'm still in those) Until last year, I knew that I wanted to do it again and this time make a firm commitment to sponsor the child until she was 18. So I went on Compassion's website and let my heart be pierced by a child in a country I don't normally think twice about. (and yes, I do think about countries a lot). I felt a love for that little girl that could only come from God and have enjoyed praying for her and writing this year.

This year, I realized that I wanted to sponsor more children. Let's face it. It's not a huge thing. I'm not risking my life and travelling to forbidden places. All I do is pray for and occassionally write to this little girl while giving her some money to cover basic needs. Maybe breathing some hope into her corner of the world. But it's something that I can do. I can't save thousands of children, but maybe just maybe I can make a difference in the life of one. Or a few, as I decided to sponsor two more children this year.

And while it costs me money and some time, I can still eat.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's a fabulous idea to consider sponsoring a child if you can. Your life might change, but only by the gentle and persuasive force of God's love working in and through the offering of your heart, time, and money to Him. For one of His creations. You will still be able to eat.

Love is such an amazing thing, really. Love that gives and breathes and moves and changes lives around us and around the world. When we embrace that love and step into the life that God intended for us, I think we become better, less critical, more forgiving, with clearer understanding of who we are in this world in relation to God, in relation to others.

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. " Mother Theresa

Sponsor a child.

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