Just read an obituary of a man who died in a tragic death and it said about him, "He who has the most toys…wins! This was so true of this man and what he lived for. He had every toy you can imagine and really lived, the best boats, the best clothes, the best electronics!”
It made me so sad...he's gone and it’s too late for him. Naiyah (she's 5) saw me crying and asked about it. I tried to explain to her, so this started a conversation on why can't he take all his toys with him when he died. Then, she started thinking and wondered if the toys we have can we take to heaven. Then, she wondered if we left them here, who would get them next. Could we choose who they go to?
It's not the abundance of toys that make me sad, it is that this man truly missed living and dying. And apparently his friends are missing it too if they think that is what life is all about. And I feel responsible. I know we can't reach everyone. But I do feel like my kids and I can be reaching people even when we are at home together most of the day, and so we are trying to do that.
It also made me think. Hmmm…We live in a culture where because of your skin color everyone assumes you are rich. Just the other day someone asked Brice if they could have our stroller, because they needed it for their 2 kids. What about our 3 kids? Where we live if you turn on the light, the kids living here are in awe you can just do that and not worry about money to pay for the electricity. We have access to family and friends who spoil us with gifts, garage sales when on furlough, and hand-me downs....here if you get something passed down it is almost worn through and there aren't extra gifts in their families. Some kids own just a few toys or a book here in their lifetime and yet each time friends visit we get a new surprise.
But whoever we are it is just stuff. Not going to go with us to our real home. Sometimes the kids here envy our kids and I envy them some...their excitement over the simplest things and their pleasure in an eraser. We are still learning how to live simply, how to live with a “heaven is coming” mindset. For us rather than give away all we have at this time...we are trying to share in our home the things we have as people come and teach through them. I am not sure this is the best way, but it is working in reaching some of our neighbor friends at this point.
When I taught 3rd grade we had a saying we would say and then finish with a writing activity. (I am sure it came from somewhere, but at this point I am sad to say I don't know who to reference.) It said:
Because people are lost without Jesus,
Because people are hungry for food and faith,
Because people are living in sin and need to know there is a better life,
They would then add in how they would do their part to impact their community. Naiyah and I did this and I was thinking through with her all we would/could do for outreach things and she said, "Mom...let's just talk to God about what to do."
So, we are talking to him on how to help here or wherever we are. We'd love to hear what you will do or are doing? And very soon without all of our toys "we shall see Him as He is" 1 John 3:2b