Every night before our kids get into bed, we have “talk with God time.” It’s some space we create to listen to God and tell him what’s on our hearts. Usually, our kids pray something simple, such as “God, please help Daddy have a good trip” or “Thanks for a good day.” Sometimes we ask God if there’s anything he wants to say to us.
The other night, Aaron’s prayer was a bit different. He said, “God, please give Jade and her family a home to live in.” I asked him about it afterwards, and he explained that his friend and classmate Jade currently lives in a tent because her family can’t afford a home. We talked more about money, homes, and how sometimes people’s basic needs are not being met.
The next day, I discovered Aaron counting money from his piggy bank. He has about $11 dollars, mostly from some birthday money and loose change he manages to find. He collected a portion of the money, put it into a plastic bag, and told me that he was giving it to Jade.
Maybe this shouldn’t have been surprising to me. Our family talks a great deal about kindness and thoughtfulness. We affirm the small and big moments when our young kids share their belongings or extend kindness to people. But Aaron’s desire to give away his money struck me as particularly beautiful, especially coming from a kid who is starting to understand the value of money. He has mentioned more than once that he wants to save his money for an iPad.
At this moment, I am challenged and inspired by my 6-year-old son’s generosity. He doesn’t have much, but he gives freely out of what he has. He sees a need of a friend, and doesn’t just ask God to provide, but allows himself to be a provider.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the seemingly unending needs and hurts in this world of ours, and I become paralyzed. I don’t do anything. Or at other times, I shut off my empathy response, and become solely focused on myself. Again, the result is that I don’t do anything.
But in my heart of hearts, I want to be generous.
I want to value and cherish others. I want to see that what I can offer to others is important. And I want to more deeply understand that generosity has been extended to me.
This is my prayer today:
Thank you, God, for all that I have been given.
Help me to love and give generously.