Keep Your Eyes Open

Tomorrow I get to spend part of my day with some amazing kids who I have gotten to know over the past few years. These kids live in a government housing project here in my city, and I look forward to seeing them each weekend for soccer. Sometimes I get to see them during the week, or outside of soccer. It really makes my day to get to love on these kids, and I don’t say that to make myself look good.

I can’t believe that there was a time that I didn’t even know that this place existed. I grew up in a blessed home with everything I ever needed. It was not until late in my high school years that I really got to experience first-hand what it looked like to be in need. I’m not going to preach about the incredible amount of poverty in our world, but I would actually like to be selfish and attempt to reflect on the blessings that I have gained through pouring myself out to others who haven’t been as blessed as I have.

I used to be afraid to step out of my middle class world and get my hands dirty by helping others. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to help them, but I was afraid of what would happen if I did- would they be offended that this rich girl was being charitable? But I quickly learned that it is not about me. I’d like to repeat that- it is not about me. Whoever I have been in contact with, whether it is playing soccer with kids in a government housing project, or holding dirty naked babies in Haiti, the moment I let go and just loved these people I realized that they were just that- people. And what they wanted from me wasn’t perfection, it was love. It really didn’t matter whether or not what I was doing to help them was perfect. The fact that I was there to love them seemed to be all that mattered. And yes, giving water and clothing to a child who had none was a huge blessing to them, but holding them was what made the difference. I have learned a very important lesson over the past few years, and this lesson has been resurfacing in my life the past few weeks: life is messy, so get your hands dirty and care about people! This is the only life you have. Do you want to look back with regret because you were afraid of getting too involved? I have decided that life is not long enough to sit around and debate about whether or not it’s worth it to put yourself out there and love people who might not love you back. So keep your eyes open for opportunities and see what happens. I can guarantee you’ll be surprised…

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