Ok, so it seems like I haven't been sticking to a specific topic throughout this entire blog, changing the name a time or two.
Yet there is an underlying theme--Compassion. It began focusing on my experience with the child sponsorship organization Compassion International. Last year I switched my focus to one particular child and his country. Now it's broadening, still including my sponsored kids, but expanding to include people with disabilities and other groups: youth who can't live with their parents for whatever reason, people without a written language or other literacy issues, and basically everyone that God puts it into my life to help.
I am recently engaged. Ok, today's culture may not consider 4 months "recent" regarding engagement, but we're waiting a total of two years before we're married, so overall, it's still pretty recent. :-)
My fiancé has Cerebral Palsy. It is mild: he is able to do pretty much everything for himself with only minor modifications. However, when I first met Luke, I'll admit to being like everyone else, seeing his disability when I looked at him. It took his asking me to go for a walk at the park for me to take the time to get to know him as a person. There is so much more to him than an awkward gait and a stiff hand! (Off course I think so--I'm marrying him, aren't I?) But it's true, yet so often people tend to overlook people with disabilities as not worth noticing, knowing.
I heard a song on the radio earlier today that gave me a heart-wrenching thought. The song was about a father dancing with his "Cinderella"--his daughter at different stages of life from toddler through bride. Luke and I have prayed for children, particularly a girl. The heartwrenching thought was a daydream, the thought of having a girl at about 11 years old who was to go to a father-daughter dance and her being embarrassed to be seen with him. What a responsibility, teaching others about knowing those with a disability. The thought had crossed my mind that part of my life might include educating those around me. I hadn't thought about educating my own child in this way. How could people not love this man? But the embarrassment wouldn't necessarily be due to any lack of affection for her father, but out of ignorance on the part of her friends, who may tease her because of it.
I don't know whether God will give us children of our own. However, I'm already praying for them, and for my own dealings with people. God has begun to open my eyes regarding the people around me that are "different".
Are you like me? Well--like I was, noticing the differences and overlooking the people. Now, I'm a work in progress, and I hope to never forget that. I am by no means perfect in my observations of others, and have to catch myself sometimes when encountering people. But, I pray that God will continue to work in my heart to have His eyes for the people around me, and this is what I hope for you as well.
Please consider what God would have you do to show His compassion to the world. My pastor let his neighbors wash clothes at his house when his power came back on after Hurricane Isaac. I've been making more of an effort to look people in the eye and saying hello rather than being my shy self and looking away, and also to pray for those around me. I work at a hospital, so sometimes I'll remember to pray for healing for the patients, and comfort for the families. (Only sometimes! Much to work on!)
What can you do? Consider going to www.compassion.com and reading the biographies of some of the kids who are waiting for sponsors. Pray for them in their situations, that God would provide for them. Be open to God using you to provide for them through sponsorship.
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