Friday, May 18, 2012
little boys and matchbox cars...
There is a little boy on the other side of the world who knows my name. He sends me letters and pictures that he draws in the school he attends. He likes matchbox cars and helping his mom with household chores. or at least he did when he was six. Now he is twelve. His name is Lereko, and other than the little boy taking a nap in the bedroom next to me...he is one of the cutest kids I have ever seen.
He has been my sponsor child through World Vision for many years now. I have watched him grow through pictures and letters that come in bright orange envelopes in my mail. I have his picture on my fridge, and when I look at it, I pray for him.
This morning I was reading a post from the Nester, about a recent trip she took to see her sponsor child in Tanzania (something I have always said I wanted to do), and a thought hit me square between the eyes. "if I had the chance to meet my sponsor child tomorrow, would I be ready?" I am afraid not.
If I could meet Lereko tomorrow, I would look into the face of a little boy I should know well and see a stranger looking back. I would feel badly for only writing 3 sentence letters when prompted by World Vision at Christmas and Easter and on his birthday. Letters that usually say something like this, "Hello Lereko! I hope you are doing well and having a great year in school. Mike and I are praying for you. Merry Christmas! Love, Adriane" I am not one for cursing, but I have gotta say, that is alot of BS.
It is WAY to comfortable for me to send my $35 a month (which covers ALL his living expenses) and pat myself on the back for doing my part, and shoot up the occasional prayer to God when bright orange envelopes arrive, and leave it at that. I never once have filled a white envelope with pictures and letters and heartfelt thoughts and mailed it off to Lesotho, Africa. I have never prayed for Lereko for more than 5 minutes at a time. And I have never before considered how I might feel if I had to explain to him face to face why I don't write more often. "Sorry Lereko, in the United States we are very busy people."
And I really think that it is ok to not send mail that often, because we truly are busy people. But there is no excuse for not showering that little boy in prayer. That is the most effective, potent influence I can have on his life, and I am denying him of it. Mostly because I forget he is real. He is half a world away, playing with his friends and learning things in school, and helping his mom around the house, and I forget that he isn't just a picture on the fridge or a financial obligation I signed up for.
And when I think about what it would be like to come face to face with that sweet little boy, I have this thought, "If I had the chance to meet my Maker tomorrow, would I be ready?" or would I have to explain to Him the very same thing, "I'm sorry Lord, but here in the US, we are busy people." It makes me shudder a little to think about that. I spend far too much time focused on things that have no lasting value or eternal weight, and that needs to change.
So for starters, for every prayer I pray for my own sweet boy, I am committing to praying for the sweet boy of a woman in Lesotho who I may or may not ever meet on this side of eternity.
What about you? What has God called you to do with the time you're given?