I had seen the commercials at dinner with a man cradling a child, a shack in the background. I felt real compassion for them.
And I turned the channel.
I read Shannon's and Sophie's blogs and I felt like I went to Uganda with them. I cried over their stories about children in poverty and I've laughed about Shannon's monkey alarm.
I prayed. Really. Prayed. I knew that one of those kids was supposed to be a part of my own family.
In fact, one night I was on the Compassion website and I saw a little girl in a Girl Scout uniform.
Meant to be?
I went back to the site again and saw that she was sponsored- Thank God.
I felt a tugging at my heart and I honestly felt guilty for not letting the tugging pull me in, but somehow I felt like I was supposed to wait...
Then I saw her.
She wore a dress that looked like it was too big for her. She stood straight for the photo, her hair plaited, and she didn't smile. She was a little girl in Haiti who could have been eating cookies made from dirt for dinner. I knew that it was time to let that tugging pull me as far as He wants me to go.
I filled out all of the necessary information, name, address, credit card number. It was all so matter-of-fact for such a profound, important step. One last button was left. I moved my mouse and clicked.
Submit is a word that gets a whole lot of bad press in our day. The world tells us that submitting to anything or anyone (except our own desires) is weak, pathetic, behind-the-times.
Let me tell you, friend, once you let go, once you stare into those eyes and let them stare back at you and into your heart, all you want to do is submit. You feel that tugging and you let Him pull you in.
The first time we received a letter from our sponsored child, we were thrilled. I cried when I unfolded her letter. Through an interpreter, the little girl I saw on a website shared her love for Jesus. I treasure all of her letters and drawings.
She is so much like any other 6-year old girl. She needs love. She needs school. She loves crayons. She loves Jesus.
We keep her picture on our refrigerator and when we moved, I placed her picture in a box we always take with us. The box holds our family photos.
Just over a week ago, as Hurricane Ike closed in on the Caribbean, I thought of our sponsored child. I worried over her picture and prayed in His Name. I imagined her huddled in her home with her mother, listening to the howling winds and pounding rain.
In my growing concern for this sweet child was a seed of hope. I knew that through our sponsorship, a Compassion worker was there in Haiti. There when I could not be. There with this little girl and her mother. There in the name of Christ.
They are still there. Compassion workers are reaching out to sponsored children, to hurting families and communities. They are able to do so because people just like you and me let that little tug pull them in. Then they moved their mouse over a button on a website and clicked.