One of the biggest ways I invite my daughters regularly to picture themselves in the light of God’s activity in our world is with the phrase, “God wants to fill your heart so much with His love, that it changes the world!” We regularly paint a picture or tell the current story of God’s purposes in ways that invite our daughters to envision themselves, and understand they are a part of what He’s doing even now. Yet still, when I see my daughters catch on to it in a simple way…..it’s astounding.
Take last night, for example.
The kids came to hear the final Sunday evening of our church’s series with Ravi Zacharias (Video: Yes, Your Question). When I say “came to hear”, what I mean is – they came with a backpack of coloring books, crayons, and a few “My Little Pony – Equestrian Girls” dolls as well. We’d gone to the church gym (Affectionately referred to as the “Family Life Center”) for about 15 minutes to run around and get some energy out. Then it was back to the pew, to sit quietly as daddy watched the video with the congregation. They were doing great, even with the usual bumps/page turns/whisper-shrieking due to shoves from a sister. Then just as the video was beginning, a young man I’d never seen before came into the sanctuary, and quietly took a seat in the pew directly in front of us. Didnt he know this section was reserved for youth pastors with fidgety kids?
After a few minutes, he turned around and caught my eye. He introduced himself briefly by name, and I shared mine. He turned back around to keep watching the video and I figured it was just an odd way of him “getting acquainted” with a new church as a visitor. A few minutes later he turned back around (Ravi was talking about something important, I’m sure….but I was already distanced because of referreeing a miniature whisper-fest.) He told me he was here by accident, after running out of gas while coming across town to pick up a friend who was drunk. He asked if I had any cash for gas. I honestly didn’t have any money on me, and apologized, but told him if he hung around after the video – perhaps he could talk with our pastor or someone else.
But Sophie, age 6, heard.
She knew someone had given her a bunch of quarters for her princess piggy bank at home, and they were still in an envelope in her coloring book bag. As she held the envelope, she asked me if it’d be okay. Ruby (our 4 year old) even offered to go with her. So together, they quietly left our pew, and went forward to his. Sophie held out the envelope, obviously not quite sure what to say. She simply said, “Here.” He greatfully accepted, although you could tell he felt a bit humbled….as I was by even watching this. She smiled wide, and quickly bounced back to our pew, sister in tow. He turned around, red-faced, and said “thank you”. She smiled back, and whispered “you’re welcome”.
The girls had a bathroom break right as the video was ending, and so we didn’t end up going back in. But later found out someone had also helped him get a bit of gas. I don’t know if we’ll ever see his face again. But I hope and pray, that the generosity and heart of my daughter sticks with him. I believe God’s love was felt by that man in those moments. I was proud to know my daughter had allowed Him to use her.
I know the world is being changed by my girls already…and I can’t wait to see how God continues to move…