Liv looked at me with a forlorn expression and an exasperated sigh, "I wish I were a kid with nothing so I could get one of these boxes." We had just finished shopping for Operation Christmas Child. I let her pick out items for a girl box and a boy box that we would assemble at church that night with other friends.
She knew the items weren't for her. We discussed that some children don't have families. Some children don't have houses. Some children's parents may not have money to buy them food or clothes, let alone toys! And we can show some simple kindness by using our money to show them someone cares and is thinking of them.
Then she still uttered that selfish 6 year old sentiment....but deep down I know she's a normal 6 year old and there's no way for her to understand. And that's ok. Because I'm not really sure I want her to understand what it means to have nothing. Especially when I can barely understand it myself. But I'm still helping sew those seeds of kindness in her that will hopefully reap a compassionate heart one day for others.
I want to shield her from images that are currently on the news: children lying dead in rows in streets, bloodied bodies running in terror, families braving ocean waters in overcrowded rafts looking for asylum, and God's people sparring differing opinions on social media on what it means to be a Good Samaritan or a light in the darkness. I have no answers. I have opinions, but no answers.
Right now in small ways I can teach kindess to my child.
I can teach her to give.
I can teach her to consider others.
I can teach her to use her talents.
I can teach her compassion.
Will she learn it by filling a shoebox with gifts she so badly wants herself? Probably not, but it's one seed among many I will plant in her heart. And to see all these kids whose parents are doing the same gives me a great hope for a bountiful harvest.
Watching a video about how their boxes will be mailed out to different children in need all over the world
The children wrote letters and filled out questionnaires in case the kids are able to write a letter back.
It was chaos but chaos of the best kind!
Thank you Lord for our blessings. May we learn to bless others with them. Help our children learn from small acts of kindness to go forth and produce larger acts of kindness in Your name. Amen.
And yes I believe even Haven isn't too young to start learning these things!