During the summer, I resolved to make care packets with the kids to store in the car and hand out to any homeless/begging people we happened to run across while driving. I figured we could put some snacks, a few dollars, toiletries, etc in ziploc baggies and use them to help in the moment in a concrete way.
I never did do it.
Now I am paying for it.
Yesterday we happened to drive by a man begging on the street corner. This happens sometimes and the kids don't even notice or say anything. But yesterday they were all over it. "Why is that man standing there?" "What is he doing?" "Is he poor?" "Is he homeless?" The questions were flowing a mile a minute. I explained that the man didn't have enough food and probably didn't have a home to sleep in at night. Nate's reply..."Can we take care of him?"
My response...crickets chirping. "Well, we kind of do take care of people like him because we give money to help feed and house people and we send money to a little girl in Africa every month, and Ava takes canned goods to Bible class, and..."
I trailed off. Nate hadn't asked if we helped people like him. He had asked if we could help him. I felt so woefully inadequate. I resolved then and there to make those little baggies and keep them in the car for the future.
And if I hadn't already made up my mind, fast forward to the conversation in the car on the way to school this morning when I was praying for the kids and talking to them about what life is really about. I said some people think life is about accomplishing things or being the best or having a big house and lots of toys, but we know life is about loving people. Lucas concurred by saying, "Loving and helping people." Then he paused and asked, "Then why didn't we help that man yesterday?"
Ok kids (and God) I get it. I appreciate the forceful reminder and I hope I can show more love in deed (not word) today, tomorrow, and the days after.