Monday, March 3, 2014

Get Wrecked

Last week I endured yearly check-ups to the pediatrician. It was the finale for immunizations. Nothing quite like having little ones get four shots each. Seeing them scared or upset is just awful for me.

This week it was a trip to the pediatric dentist. Even though it was just x-rays & cleaning- they had anxiety thinking a shot could possibly be involved. They remembered having sore legs from the week before. I tried to tell them it was just teeth brushing- no shots. My heart raced when I heard them start to panic. I swallowed hard as they gripped my shirt and pulled me closer. I spoke softly and assuredly. On the outside, I looked strong. On the inside, I was totally wrecked. They cried out my name with wavering voices. I caressed arms and held hands. I talked them thru the flossing and polishing and counting of teeth until they finally smiled, knowing it was over. And within seconds, you would never have thought such drama had ever happened. The dental assistant was busy making balloon animals and my kids were screaming with excitement. The only other drama I could possibly anticipate for the day was the inevitable balloon getting popped in the car on the way home. I so wished they offered parents nitrous gas as a courtesy. I felt completely drained by the emotionally challenging office visits required to keep my little people up-to-date and healthy.

I recently came across a short video from a ministry called Mercy Project. Heroes rescuing children from slavery. Children as young as mine. I thought back to my little sweethearts calling out my name, grasping for my hand while they faced the unknown in the dentist chair. My eyes filled with tears thinking about children all around the world -just as precious as my own- that are forced to face situations that are truly terrifying. Children forced to do the unimaginable. Many do it alone. And it crushes me to think about kids who have no one rescuing them, no one there.

We don't want to think slavery exists today. But it does. We want to believe that all children grow up carefree and happy. But the tragic reality is that many don't. And to deny this makes it an even bigger problem. A silent one where people don't step in and do something. We stay detached because its easier not to acknowledge it. Easier to dismiss the magnitude of suffering that goes on every single day around the world affecting millions of vulnerable people while we do carpool, shop at Walmart, plan our weekend, and make healthy, low-fat dinners.

We all have our share of things we need to make ourselves better aware of. Ways we can grow, change, and impact the world in a positive way. As parents, we need to make sure our children learn what unconditional love looks like, what compassion looks like, what forgiveness looks like, what humility looks like, what perseverance looks like and then just do it. Live by example. Not empty talk. So whether its sending money to an organization rescuing trafficked children, bringing awareness to an injustice, feeding the hungry, assisting with orphan care, adoption, missionary work- we can't ignore or think that its not our responsibility to become part of the solution. Pure and faultless religion is spending less time doing church stuff and more time doing Christ stuff. The least of these is not you and me. So let's put our money (literally) where empty mouths are, let's be unified and determined to help those who are suffering and helpless. We all need that push to do more for other people and less for ourselves.

There are some amazing people inspiring me right now. And I'm so thankful.

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