Right now, there are three additional hearts beating under my roof. Three of my very favorites, as a matter of fact.
Emmie, Lilli and Brody rolled in, late afternoon, after Papa picked them up from the airport, and a blissfully uneventful flight over. We helped them get reacquainted with the surroundings, and Lilli, in particular, was wide-eyed over everything, wanting to experience it all again in a collective “now.” We settled for some indoor horse play while Maddie gave a lesson outside, and reintroduced Brody to the toys, too, which I’m sure seemed different from a walking vantage point. All was well with the world, until about an hour later when we left.
Yes, that’s right. Our babies were finally here, and we had to leave them at the house while we went to a dinner.
Chinese water-boarding seemed more appealing.
Now, just so you understand, this was not just any dinner. It was a benefit dinner for a local camp that benefits grieving kids, Camp El Tesoro de la Vida. We love this camp and the organization behind it, Camp Fire. We believe in what they do, and want to do everything we can to support it. So we had invited some friends to join us at our table, and learn more. Even while it was great to see them, and dinner was wonderful, it was hard to sit there, knowing my heart’s treasure was sitting at my house.
Then, a young woman walked up to the platform. With stilted movements, and a bit of a speech impediment, she began to tell her story. She told us about her twin brother, his battle with disabilities but unquenchable joy for life. She chronicled their bounce between the system and family members when their mother, with issues of her own, started to take her hardships out, physically, on them, marking her for life. With tears, she spoke of his last moments (as his disabilities finally claimed him) and how, in a quiet moment between sister and brother, she gave him permission to go on with God. When he did, however, she would blame herself for his death for years to come. There was self-mutilation that followed, adding to what her mother had already wrought.
And then somebody sent them to camp.
I sat there, teary, flooded with a thankfulness that, though my babies were at my house without me, they are not without anyone who loves them. They are healthy and whole, and not terrified at home. I was reminded, again, of why sacrifices of talent, treasure, or time are worthwhile in the end, especially when it gives someone else the chance at healthy wholeness. Christ thought so, after all, asking that the cup be taken from him if it could be (I’m pretty much certain He didn’t want to hang on the cross), but willing to do what God willed out of selfless love for sin-sick and broken us.
Should we do any less?
No. I think not, even – especially – when you’d rather be somewhere else.
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42 NLT
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 ESV
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16 ESV