Four empty spaces from the boxes where my boys keep their matchbox cars.
Cars that zip and zoom and cars they fight over and collect and cars we find under the couch and under our feet and cars I stash in my purse for long waiting room visits. Cars they race and crash and skid down the hallway in our house. Toys that never get old, no matter how old the boys get.
A couple of weeks ago, through friends with Arkansas Women Bloggers, we found out about a family with a young boy in Vilonia, Arkansas who had lost his home, and everything in it, in the April 2014 tornado.
We had the opportunity to gather up and give some clothes and other specific items the family needed away. I had shown my boys the footage of the tornado damage that morning, and we had prayed for the victims. And a few hours later, here was our chance to help. I mentioned that the boy had lost his toys, and that it might be cool for him to have a few things replaced.
Like matchbox cars.
My two oldest immediately and generously pulled some cars out of their boxes to give away to this boy. And they picked nice cars: cars they liked that weren’t scratched up or worn down.
I told my children how they acted like the good Samaritan, a story they know well. It’s a reminder that generosity to others doesn’t have to be part of a 501 (c) organization. It doesn’t have to be highly planned or organized; it should be part of our lifestyle as we reflect the love of Christ.
Others’ needs are often immediate, and the Lord gives us the opportunity to help as an everyday kindness. Right away. Which, with our kind of family schedule, is sometimes the best way we can help. We loaded up our goods and drove it to someone who was doing pick ups all over the area from others and delivering the donations for us.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
(Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)
I can’t lie. for Mother’s Day, I loved all three boys jumping into my bed Sunday morning, presenting me with earrings, homemade cards, and bath salts. I loved the morning we spent together the day before at our local farmer’s market and out to eat and outside to play.
But my sons giving away precious toys to a child they haven’t met, whose name they didn’t know, whose picture they hadn’t even seen - best early Mother’s Day gift.