Today I am playing the role of both nurse and nanny as my wife is recovering from oral surgery, and my two children have chosen to pick this day as limit testing day! The kicker for me in this all is that empathy is not one of my strong suits. Compassion is something that I learn more about each day. Two of the people (outside of Jesus) that have the most impact on me in this fashion are my wife and my daughter.
With Bonny out of commission in terms of the regular routine around the house today, I'm subbing in where I can. Part of my subbing routine has included nap time (which is currently happening for the 3 aforementioned family members). My daughter Saydie has chosen nap time to push limits today. But during one of our many special conversations, Saydie's compassion has yet again overwhelmed her father's heart. I laid her down for her nap, only to hear her open her bedroom door and call out to me a few moments later. I trudged back upstairs and got her back into her bed. Hoping to give her some wisdom about nap time I uttered the words, "Saydie, it's time to get cozy in your bed. You have a nice cozy bed and you are so blessed because not everyone in our world has a nice cozy bed to sleep in." She stared up at me with a look of confusion and replied, "How come Daddy?" I shared with her about the blessing that we have as a family to have a home and cozy beds, and how not everyone in the world has the things that we have to use. Our conversation continued for a few moments with Saydie referencing our sponsored child Deborah and her desire to make sure Deborah has a cozy place to sleep each night. After a few moments of silence I asked Saydie what she was thinking about. Her answer kind of took be back for a moment. "I'm thinking about how we need to buy beds for little boys and girls that don't have a cozy place to sleep." Tears welling up in my eyes I asked my daughter, "where are we going to get the money to do this pal?" "Well Dad," she replied confidently, "we can use some of the pennies from my piggy bank...but maybe not all of them." I said to her that if she was willing to use some of her pennies, I would be willing to use some of mine. So once nap time is over, looks like we are going shopping for beds online.
Discipleship is a mutual learning experience for both the mentor and mentoree. In this particular story, my daughter Saydie taught me about compassion, while I taught her about stewardship and loving justice.
It's these relational moments that speak to more about God's love in action that program based connections ever could. How is your life reflecting a love for justice and a willingness to tangibly demonstrate that God is alive in the world today?
How can we navigate through the uncertainty of conflict in relationships? Where do we start?
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