Thursday, December 13, 2007

Building Compassion

For some reason we have found more ways to reach out to the community than in previous years. There were canned food drives at Justin's company and Maren's school. Incidentally, Maren's motivation was to bring in the most cans so her class could "run through the halls, not like a Falcon" (Forest Ridge students walk with Falcon Pride, quiet and orderly). And her class actually won the competition, which thrilled her. Guess we'll work on motivations in future opportunities!

There have been bags of food prepackaged at the grocery checkout that caught my eye. We are so blessed, how can I ignore the needs of the hungry?

There is the Salvation Army Bell Ringer at the entrance to the grocery (can you tell where I do most of my shopping?). Maren loves raiding my wallet and car for coins to give to the bell ringer.

And Tuesday night we took the kids to a group event where we did some Angel Tree shopping. We met up for dinner, then each family in our small group took the Christmas list of a child in need, and buzzed around Old Navy and Target for gifts. Maren loved the chance to "be Santa" for someone whose parents weren't able to give nice things to their kids. Maybe this will open the way in the future for that conversation about Santa and whether he is real. Maybe Santa can be real, it's just that he is us.

After everyone had paid for their selections, we got to go in a back room at Target and wrap gifts as a group. The list we got was for a 13 year old boy, one of 9 siblings. He only had clothes on his list, which I thought might be a little hard for Maren to understand or relate to. But she enjoyed helping with the wrapping, and the next day she was able to tell Grammy what she did. So it's something to build on.

We had fun, and enjoyed the opportunity to do something nice for someone outside our circle. I hope we can remember to continue the tradition throughout the year, not just at the holidays. The more my children have a chance to be aware of people in need, the greater the possibility of God moving them to a lifetime of compassionate service.

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