24 September 2010

Confessions of a Compassion Blogger

I am a Compassion Blogger.
And I am bad at it.

I read my fellow bloggers with intensity, poring over their words about the least of these, the sweet faces the world has forgotten.

When one child gets hit by a car, it's a tragedy.
When thousands die every day, it's a statistic.

But we're overwhelmed by statistics and it's hard to know what to do.
It's hard to write about it.
It's hard to tell you stories of kids who are dying for no reason other than that they don't have the food they need.
Other than starving, they're healthy.

Since long before Chris and I ever started talking about getting married, Ella has been a huge part of my life.
She was 21 months old when we (Ella and I) fell in love with each other.
In just a few days she'll be six years old.

She's healthy.
She's well-fed.
She's brilliant.
She's sweet.

And I want her to know the world as it really is.
A gorgeous gift from our God to us.
A gift that isn't fairly divided.
A gift that we must share.
I want her to know the hurts of the world.
But at the same time I want to protect her tender heart.

How do you raise a compassionate, innocent, daughter?
How do you do help her see what SHE does?

How do you move beyond the natural greed of an American child to the unbelievable compassion of this 5 year old girl?

Compassion has been in Guatemala this month.
The place that breaks my heart.
The "home" of my soul's deepest awakenings.
The birthplace of my own conversion.

And I said not a word.
I am a bad Compassion Blogger.
THIS was my chance.
My opportunity to show you pictures and stories of the lives of children in the country I love so much.
And I said not a word.

My mind wasn't distracted.
I wasn't too busy settling in to my new life.
I wasn't intentionally avoiding the time it takes.

I was speechless.

Unless you've seen the poorest of the poor firsthand, I don't know how to tell you about them.
It's actually easier for me to talk about Africa or India or any number of places than Guatemala.
Because I've walked it.
I've smelled the stench of the dump.
I've held children who reeked of urine.
I've touched the faces of the starving.

The whole week as I read the bloggers' tales, my heart begged for people to sponsor these children.
And my heart begged for answers on how to raise Ella.
How to teach "my kids" at church.
How to live what I so desperately believe.

God, help us.
Help us parent the children who live within our walls.
And help us parent those we will never touch.

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