even in the valley

Even in the Valley

Have you ever seen a picture of Will Smith’s swollen face from the movie “Hitch”?! I don’t remember much from the movie, but waking up this morning to my 11 year old’s face reminded me of that one small part of that movie. His eyes, lips, ears, nose…all swollen. Rash all over him…arms, legs, chest. He made sure to take time and find a pair of sunglasses to put on before leaving for urgent care. Which totally cracked me up! He said as he laughed, “I don’t even recognize myself”.

A few hours later, we are fresh out of waiting for a LONG time and on our way to get medicine. Sitting downtown Pittsburgh, at a light, he’s tired and not feeling well…ready to go home. But he sees an older lady holding a sign that says “homeless, please help”.

“We can help her!” He is all the sudden very awake and very loud, lol.

“Bud, I don’t have any cash on me.” And as soon as the words come out of my mouth, I knew I was wrong…because months ago we had done something about that.

You see, maybe 6 months ago, my kiddos got sick of me always saying that very same sentence…every single time we saw someone who was homeless. Their hearts wanted to help someone in need, but their momma didn’t carry cash very often. And they decided to do something to change that.

They all 4 decided together that they would make up bags to give out to the homeless and keep them in the car for the next time they would see someone. It was so fun, they picked out food that wouldn’t spoil, water bottles, socks, combs and things they thought might help someone in need and put them in Ziplock bags. One of our daughters even put a note and cash in one of them, for that person who needed a little extra.

Ziplock bags of food items to give to those in need

Those bags stay in the trunk of our car and the kids have a blast giving them out! And I say all of this to say…even when things aren’t going your way, when we’re walking through a tough season or just a tough day…helping someone else out or being kind to someone else can change your whole perspective.

You see, my son [who is doing much better!] forgot for the moment how much discomfort he was in, and how tired/itchy he was…got himself into the trunk and pulled out one of these bags. He was so excited to bless someone else that he temporarily forgot about his situation. Him seeing outside of himself made me really sit and think. Every day, every one of us has the very same opportunity. To step outside of ourselves, see someone else and take some time to bless them. Whether that’s time, words or a gift. It has the potential to change your whole perspective…and theirs.

I would encourage you, be generous with who Jesus is in you…and even if you’re “in the valley”, or having a challenging day, just like my son…you still have something to give. Something very powerful. There are opportunities everywhere, look for just one. I know you’ll find it.

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