14 February 2011

I can share what I have

Sick again. Raise your hand if you think I get sick entirely too much in Africa. Ridiculous.
Last week I got to spend a morning at Kingsway school. You remember Kingsway, we've talked about it a few times and I pointed you to the fundraising video a couple weeks ago - to build the new school inside Zandspruit. The kids here are so precious. Teacher was telling them a bible story this particular morning. A story about Jesus healing a blind man.
"Have you ever seen someone who is blind? Where would you see them?"
-(little voices) " sometimes on the street corners "
"Uh-huh." teacher says "How come they stand there?"
- (little voices) " because they need some money but they can't work"
"the exact same thing was happening in the bible. Just the same. And then Jesus walked by...."

She wove the story into a space where not only the children were captivated by the miracle of the bible... but delighted with recognition that they are living in a story similar.

"Now, maybe we can't heal the person like Jesus did - but what can we do to help someone who can't do something for themselves?"
(little voices) "We can take them shopping for clothes" "We can give them some food" "We can buy them some shoes"
"Absolutely! But what if you don't have extra money to buy them something they need? What else could you do for them? "

and the ideas poured out - washing clothes - reading a story - cleaning dishes - holding their hand so they could walk to a friends' house -
real life things that real life people can do every single day
I don't know if the teacher realizes the amazing gift she is giving these children. Being able to recognize that you have something valuable to give is an important key to not sinking into a poverty mentality. You are rich when you realize your ability to give. It's what the deepest spaces in our hearts were wired for - to take care of each other. To serve. To love God with all our hearts, our souls, our minds - and in that, because of that, through that, to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. It's what draws us together into the core of humanity and gives us the wealth of being able to actively participate in something bigger than ourselves and the here and now we find ourselves in. And these children, knowing and believing that is true, will carry their generation on the shoulders of something better than what has been.

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