Her little face has haunted me. Maybe 8 years old? Maybe 12? Her image has now been replaced with the image of so many of the little girls I have now seen. Dressed in clothing hand washed too many times. Mended as best as possible. Hair matted. Combed as best as possible in anticipation of our visit.
But her face haunts me. As it was one of the most shameful moments in my life that haunts me.
Her hollow eyes looked to my sports cup sitting at my feet, and back to my eyes, begging. Pointing at my water, then signing the universal sign “drink?” “water?” Back to the cup, and back to my eyes, begging.
And then I did what I have done so many times before – I turned my head and ignored. And I will forever feel the shame from that moment.
In my defense, it was only a few hours off the plane from our comfortable country that I had stepped foot on this dirty soil. I had never traveled before but had been told – ‘drink as much water as possible or you will get sick. And you don’t want to get sick.’ This was our first visit, our first project, my first real encounter with the third world. If I handed her my only cup, full of clean water, would I get any more today? Would she give my cup back? What if she had a disease? What if she gave me that disease? All those thoughts went through my head in the span of those precious minutes when I choose myself over a thirsty little one.
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42.
CHRIST’S words. And I lost my reward that day. I chose self over sacrifice.
How often does that experience play over and over today? In all of our lives? No – you may not be faced face to face with a third world child begging for a sip of your water…
But are we choosing our own comfort (bigger house, newer car, nice vacation) over a child begging you for only a sip of what you could offer?
Are we choosing to protect our bodies from harm by not reaching out to the little one asking for help? What about the orphans with diseases asking to be adopted? Are we scared of the harm they may do to our families? Are we scared of what the world might say if we bring a child of another color into our family? Are we scared of the emotional problems a foster child might bring upon our family if we were to reach out?
Are we choosing to protect ourselves, as we don’t know when we will get resources again – from this here and now loss of what we see as valuable? Do we not give to the child in need because what if we commit to sponsor, but then loose our job? Or need that money for other things later?
Do we choose not to help because of the distrust? What if I don’t get back something from that which I have given? What if others are just trying to take what is mine?
So you see – you have your moments where you deny those searching eyes as well. We all do. I still do. But I know that God gave me that experience so that the next time those eyes come looking to me for aid – I hope I will not turn my eyes downward and ignore. Lesson learned.
Everything I have has been given to me by my Father in Heaven. All they are asking for is just a sip of that bounty I have been given. So who am I to refuse to share? Don’t we tell our kids they have to share? Doesn’t God tell us the same?
Are you obeying? Or ignoring? What is God asking you to share that you instead are grasping tightly to?
Recent research has statistically shown the dramatic effect Compassion International and their sponsorship program has made on the lives of these children as they have grown up.
Christianity Today news on Compassion
Right now some little ones have been waiting close to a year for that little bit of help you can offer - can you at least research these children and see if God is calling you to give them a sip from the huge pitcher he has given you??