It was so moving and powerful, tears streamed down my face. Parents like this propel me forward. They inspire me to be a better person, a better Mom... to appreciate the small things in life. To work towards spending more time focusing on how I can "shift" my priorities to help other people. How I can truly LIVE. How I can define truly LIVING and what it would look like to live full-out for Christ.
It seems like the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Africa is way too big for 'normal' people like me to do anything about. But that's just a lie. It IS normal people that step-out and make a big difference, but I'm sure the children they adopt would call them anything but 'normal'.
We don't have to change the world - we just have to change one child's world. I can't even imagine what it would mean to a child, alone, with no hope, no one to love them, no bed to sleep in... to be brought to a home filled with love. Accepted as a family member, and given all the physical necessities they need and never had - but above and beyond that, a warm hug, a deep love, a future, and a hope brighter than the sun.
I don't know if our family will ever adopt a needy child - although we've discussed it. We want to - we really want to. We feel it's our responsibility as Christians, to "...care for the orphans and the widows...". We're praying about it.
But you know what I do know? I know that right now, TODAY, I can only change the world for my own kids.
Do I treat them with love and dignity? Do I respect their individuality and embrace their gifts and personalities? Do I inspired them to be better people by being a 'better' person myself? Do I lead by example? Do I humble myself? Do they feel genuine, unconditional love from their "Mama" every day, all day?
Do I teach them with everything in me? Do I show them the wonders of God's love? Do I help them understand the world around them and how incredibly blessed they are? Do we, as a family, show God's love to others? Are they learning to be giving, caring people?
I've got a long way to go... I'm on my way - but, I'm a work in progress. When problems in the world seem too big to tackle, we need to take heart and realize that everything starts with one. One person, one day, one moment, one hug, one smile, one game of Monopoly with your 5-year-old when you thought you were too tired to si up straight. The way we live our every day - even if our world doesn't seem that exciting or impactful. Even if we've done 3 loads of dishes, changed countless dirty diapers, and coloured pictures of stick people, houses and birds for the past 2 hours.
When I'm unsure of my impact on this world - you know, if I'm really making a difference - I like to think of my husband and our children who are so profoundly affected by the way I choose to live and treat them.
I am Mom. I have the power to lift them up or shoot them down. To inspire them to greatness, or make them hopeless. To embrace, or push away. To plug-in and truly know them, or to check-out and place my priorities in the wrong places.
I choose to be a lifter today. If I lift the people in my life... those God has already trusted me with - perhaps it is a testimony to my readiness to reach out and lift another child up - to embrace the people who have nobody. To realize that the power of one is great if we choose to not only take the step - but start jogging, and then running towards a life lived for others.
Lose your life... to gain TRUE life... it's not a new idea. But I'm embracing it deeper today.