We were cruising around the block for the umpteenth time. Street-side parking spots are rare in San Francisco, and we urgently needed one. I was grumbling under my breath, my attitude deteriorating faster than an overripe banana, when a small voice piped up from the carseat in back. “Mom, did you ask God for a parking spot?”
“Er, that’s a great idea, sweetie! Why don’t you pray for us?”
So my preschool-aged daughter asked God for a parking spot—and darned if one didn’t appear just down the street, as if by magic.
Hmmm, I thought.
It just so happened that both of my parents died in the month of September. My mother passed away in 1998 (over Labor Day weekend) and my father followed her this past year. Now, as September rolls around again, I start to think about the family I grew up in. I’m the only one who can. You see, I have no siblings. Not only that, but my mother was also an only child, and my father had just one sister. I haven’t seen my two cousins since we were all in high school; we were never all that close.
It bothers me that no one else knows what my childhood was like. No one else knows the family stories, the special memories, or the little peculiarities that were uniquely ours. Sure, I’ve told my husband and daughters some tales of my growing up years, but I’m sure I haven’t told them everything. Now no one is going to remind me of the ones I’ve missed.
Babies. I definitely have babies on my mind this week.
Our granddaughter is visiting from the Pacific Northwest and I’m treasuring every moment. After 14 months, Willow’s parents have already lost a lot of sleep on her behalf. They’ve spent a fortune on medical bills (she was five weeks premature), baby furniture, clothes, diapers, and the gazillion other things a baby needs in our culture. And they’d do it all again, because they love her!
Our family went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch yesterday. Instead of ordering a whole meal for a baby, we each agreed to share some food off our plates. Willow enthusiastically gummed down everything from red bell peppers, tofu, and egg roll to mu shu pork and bits of scrambled egg and dried lilies fished out of my hot and sour soup. She ate a lot! Why would I give her so much of my lunch that I needed a snack when we got home? Of course, it’s because I love her!
In my post last Friday, I stated my opinion that the best way to help the poor and unreached in far away places is to send money.
I don’t want to minimize the importance of hands-on ministry—how being personally involved is so much better than merely throwing money at a problem. We have so much to teach one another, and the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives as we share our lives with others.
But we also need to reach out across political boundaries, languages, and cultures. Sometimes the only practical way to do this is to “just” send money.