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Thursday, November 18, 2010

School lunch

When I think back to my childhood, I am overcome with great feelings. They center around two parents who loved me, two sisters who spoiled me and a pretty normal childhood. Baseball games in the back yard, the tree fort down the street, school friends coming over to play and going to church with my family. I remember holidays, vacations, Saturdays at the ball field and being tucked in at night. I think the one consistent that flowed through all of those memories was that warm, secure feeling that came from knowing I was loved.

The reason I believe that is because of one horrible night I remember when my mom and dad had one of those moments that sneak into all marriages. It was an awful argument; most of it centered around the financial struggles that my family was facing. I remember some yelling and heavy discussion. I even remember my dad saying to my mom, "That's it! I want a divorce." My world sank. I was standing in the kitchen crying my eyes out as I watched my entire world come crumbling down. I was destroyed....but only briefly. The love that flowed through my mom and dad won out. It always did. When my dad died in 2004, he had been with my mom for almost 50 years. That secure feeling I had from watching them had grown every year they spent together.

I thought about that today as I visited the local school where I spend time mentoring each week. Sitting at the table, my heart was broken as I watched six young kids who were longing for attention, looking for that security that I had felt so strongly growing up. One young lady talked about her mom's new boyfriend, another revealed the lack of attention from her parents by the food pouring from her mouth as she stuffed bite after bite. Another young lady caught my attention as she pulled up next to me, hit me on the arm and said, "I've missed you." It's only the third time I've seen the girl. Apparently, she's adopted me. Or, maybe it's more appropriate to say, she's adopted the feeling that comes with knowing somebody cares for her.

You know, I don't really do anything special when I go to the school. I sit at the table with them and hang out and talk and act a little goofy. It doesn't take a lot of training nor does it require a ton of time. But I like to believe that those few stolen moments with those kids may someday make a difference in who they grow up to be.

Now, here's the reason I share this. You can make a difference too. In fact, the reason that God blesses you is so that you can be a blessing. You may be reading this a thousand miles from where I am...but you are only a few miles away from some kid who needs you, some life that needs to be touched. It will cost you a few minutes. But I'd rather lose a few minutes to save someone's life than to have someone I could have loved go without that touch. Consider what you have to offer...then offer it freely to God.


Vicki said...

Oh, what a wonderful idea! I'm up for the challenge!

edward said...

I am lucky enough to get the chance to spend time in an elementary school at work as part of Community Partners in Education. I have also come across several students that are just happy to see someone come in to spend a little time with them. It is truly a great experience and I would encourage everyone to try it. Most schools welcome volunteers to read with a student or even just flip through some flash cards.