Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Love This World Needs
Red velvet cake ball? Anyone interested?
I made these today for my kids' teachers. Followed Bakerella's (is that an awesome blog name or what?!!) recipe and method and they turned out better looking than the batches from the previous 2 years! Thank you, Bakerella!
This Valentine's I'm thinking about a different kind of love.
Sure, I have a few special things to show my loved ones how much I care about them, but lately I'm convicted that it's about more than just loving the people immediately around us, the ones that love us back.
In our city there has been a story in the news that began as sad and horrifying - a 93 year old WWII veteran, two-time Purple Heart recipient, who recently lost his wife of 57 years had his home vandalized by a couple teenagers while he was at a doctor appointment. They ransacked his belongings and covered his walls and furniture with spray paint. The home he'd lived in for 55 years, built much of it himself! It was definitely yet another story to illustrate all that is wrong with this world!
But, that wasn't the end of the story, folks!
The crime was mentioned on-air in a popular local radio show and suddenly people started calling in asking if they could help. Contractors, restoration companies, alarm system installers, and just regular people! For 3 weeks while that 93 year old man lived in a room donated to him by a local nursing home, volunteers filled his home. As many as 120 volunteers some days! They restored his home, fixed everything that had been destroyed, and keeping the home's original character and feel, made some improvements to help the elderly man's quality of life -- things like a monitored alarm system and a sprinkler system to water the yard he so enjoys looking at through his windows! That man moved back into his home today with fellow Marines and the volunteers who did the work lining his sidewalk, clapping and cheering as his wheelchair was pushed up the walkway. He was reported to be speechless!
I shared that story with my kids, reading to them straight from the newspaper. In a world where there are acts of unimaginable cruelty and plain meanness, there is so much good, too! Good people who donated their time, talents, and resources to help a man they didn't even know. We talked about how we don't want to be the bad guys of this story, ruining someone else's things, causing sadness, we wanted to be the good people who helped make right someone else's wrong.
Then I challenged my kids to tell me something kind they'd done for someone else today. My 5 year old son said he didn't want to play basketball but he played anyway because his older brother wanted him to. My 9 year old son said he held the door for an old lady leaving the church where my daughters have choir practice. My 4 year old daughter said she played with her sister (I don't think she quite grasped the point of doing something that was a bit of a stretch for you). At first my 7 year old daughter couldn't think of anything, but as she was getting in her bath she reminded me of the question and said she'd thought of something. When a girl in her class at school fell on the track today during P.E. she and another girl helped her up and walked back to the school with her.
I was so impressed with my kids' answers! And I hadn't even given them the assignment in advance. It was the end of the day and I said, "Tell me something kind you did today." I'm planning to do this again and for us all to hold each other accountable to show love to others.
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (ESV)
Find more Thankful Thursday here.