Friday, April 3, 2009

Overlooked kids

I've read a couple of places this week about miracle babies, or tiny ones fighting for their lives. I'm amazed at the fight that these little ones and their families put up for life, and especially the support that sprouts up around them.

Without taking anything away from the little ones, my thoughts turn as I look around me at dozens of kids every day. I look at my own two girls. I think about the thousands in my city, probably over 2 billion on our globe. What about them? They were formed perfectly, and have moms and dads (and others) who have poured care into them from day one - are the lives of those kids and the love of their parents deserving of more support and celebration than we're giving them???

For me, the obvious answer is a resounding YES. Instead of coming alongside a frazzled mom who is yelling at her kids, I sometimes think - "how could she talk to them like that?" She chose life for them. She takes them to the doctor. She puts food on the table for them. I know how challenging those little things can be for me. Of course they are for her too.

Our schools, and even our church Sunday school classes have a chronic shortage of volunteers. There is always room for new foster parents. For court-appointed special advocates for children of abuse - I see those on billboards around town every week. And that doesn't even scratch the surface of needs of children around the world. Giving my time to fill in those holes - even just a little locally - is a sacrifice. I'm only sometimes willing to make it.

In focusing on the lives that are not yet or are just hanging on, are we overlooking the treasure of children who already are?

If I can jump on the bandwagon to pray for or sponsor a baby or child far, far away, can I celebrate and encourage each child (including my own), and each all-important parent or caregiver that crosses my path this week?



Jenn said...

definitely! we cant forget what is right in front of us!
i was just telling my boys how much of a treasure they are today and i think remembering that and reminding them of that is so important!

Don said...

For me, your comments here remind me of a realization I came to about my "proper sphere of influence."

I have a responsibility and duty to care for those God puts within my sphere. They are my priorities. If I ignore them, to serve elsewhere, have I really fulfilled God's call for my life?

Sometimes I would feel twinges of guilt (false guilt) for the unmet needs outside my proper sphere of influence, until I learned to quit apologizing to God for why I was not what he never called me to be.

Spouse, children... that's 80% of the sphere. The other 20% is the other 20%.

That's my take on putting first things first, or putting first people first.