Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Our one day in Haiti, the day that changed me forever. (Read full post here.)
It had been a long day. I was not there to sunbathe. I recognized the need, and I knew it with all my heart. God led us down a path that culminated in me scratching names on a little piece of white paper. These names, these men, the needs they had. Two of them needed clothes for their children. And although I could not see their children, could not see their homes or their circumstances, I could feel it. I knew with every fiber of my being they needed these things.
I acted, I moved, I brought my children and we provided. Not nearly enough, but we provided.
But sitting on my heart remains one thing. One. big. regret.
I was able to provide for all of these men but one.
Antonio. He needed clothes for his two-year-old boy. I had a nine-year-old boy, and I was not courageous enough to ask fellow cruise ship passengers, random moms on the beach, if they would be willing to give the clothes off their sons’ backs for Antonio’s son. If I could turn back time, I would strip away all of my pride….and just ask. For Antonio.
The not asking has turned my world upside down. Everything looks different in light of Antonio and his unmet need. The sound of his voice, the way he asked not once but three times for clothes for his child, it will all be forever etched in my mind. And although it has haunted me, made me want to set out on a search for a future cruise passenger who can deliver a package to Antonio for me, I know this experience will ultimately be a blessing in disguise.
Since Antonio, because of Antonio, I experience life differently. Every day.
This just one example…
All it took was one foot in this magical place called the Disney store. Antonio came to mind, tears welled in my eyes. Such an unexpected place to experience memories of that day in Haiti.
Joy to the World and Hark the Herald Angels Sing played in the background.
And my eyes landed on this shiny red hat. Although Antonio’s son may never set his sights on this sparkly red hat that symbolizes youth and fun and play, I can give shelter, protection.
Although Antonio’s son may never find a pair of shiny red boots under a Christmas tree, I can give hope for a boy to keep on walking.
Although Antonio’s son may never get a cool Toy Story bowl for his goldfish crackers or a Toy Story boot cup for his juice, I can give food and drink.
Although some little girl will never experience girlish games of dress up, I can give confidence to press on with a brave and beautiful spirit, a sense of worth.
And although some little girl may never get to look in a mirror as glorious and as wondrous as this, I can give her the greatest gift, the greatest reflection of all. That she was made in the image of God, knit together for a very special purpose here on earth, that she is precious and beautiful in His sight.
So today my pride is stripped. I come to you on behalf of little children in poverty around the world and ask for you to take a second look, think about what extra you might give this Christmas.
Compassion International has a goal of raising $20,000 from the Christmas Gift Catalog this month. There are 2,000 Compassion Bloggers. If each site raises $100 from the Christmas Gift Catalog, the goal will be met, and thousands of children and families in poverty will be given hope this Christmas and beyond.
Today, I commit to giving through the Compassion International Christmas Gift Catalog in honor of Antonio and his son.
Will you consider giving…
$4 to protect a child from parasites?
$13 to help a malnourished child survive through emergency feeding?
$20 a Christmas gift for a mom and a baby?
$23 help build water reservoirs for children and families?
$25 to help a mom towards a safe birth?
Give creatively, give compassionately this year at the Compassion International Christmas Gift Catalog. To help a child, a mom, a dad this Christmas.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38