And for the last year I have seen her walking our street with her 3 younger brothers. She is raising the baby. It is rare to see her without the diaper bag hanging off one hip and the baby hanging off the other hip. She is the parent figure who came to our orientation to see if her brothers could attend preschool. She is the one gets the boys dressed and up for church. She is the one who makes sure they eat. She is only 11 years old.
As a child who was given so much love and attention, I became a mother who showers love and attention on my kids too. I teach them and try to show them God's love. I want them to see themselves of His deep love for them and in turn share that love with others. Lately, I get discouraged when I see them fighting with one another or unwilling to share something they have with a friend they are playing with. And I pray, "God, how can I help them to have Your love? How can I teach them to have this consuming, sacrificial love?"
We need to do more. So we bake and share cookies with our new neighbors. We pick up others trash. We deliver pizza to those who are hungry. We kept an orphan boy in our home to love and become our family. But none of these things make them catch this Amazing Love. What am I not saying or doing for them, so they get this Great love? And I think, maybe because they are only 6, 3, and 1 year olds?
Worship and preaching continued on, this little girl swung her stockinged feet. The right side of her stockings had a hole all the way up to her knee. She laid her baby's brothers head in her lap and positioned his feet to lay on the bench. Then, she whispered, "He has been sick and not sleeping much at night." She rubbed his head and back until he fell asleep. And then she plaited (braided) his hair for him to make him look nice for church. When she finished, she pulled out a wad of paper from her bag and started cleaning his face She is only 11 years old.
Somehow with a mother's love, this girl gets it! She didn't have to read a book on how to care for siblings or have counseling on how to deal with a mother's abandonment. She didn't have anyone showing her love constantly. But she knows there is love. And she gives all she has to her brothers. Doesn't matter her age or what she needs. She gets God's love and gives it. And she is only 11 years old...
"Thank you for showing compassion to us. I pray that all of us would follow Your example, being compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love, (Psalm 103:8)