Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Helping Hand

Wyatt is turning into a possessive little monster. MINE.

"But that's MY toy!" "But I wanted to play with it!" "But Emerson no want to play with it!"

The word "But" is now persona non grata in this house just like "can't," "won't," and "don't." (I'm rapidly developing a list of words that mommy really doesn't want to hear ever again.)

The twins are just as possessive--they just don't have the words to go with their actions. Yelps and grunts--yes--tears and grabbing hands--yes--but not words. Everybody wants everything someone else has.

But sometimes Wyatt surprises me by bringing each baby a toy and saying, "Here 'Melia. Have a toy." And sometimes one of the twins will hold out something towards me and grin, giving me hope that sharing might be teachable. Other times, Wyatt glares at the babies, waiting for them to drop the tractor, book, etc. so it can be his "turn." Or Emerson lunges at Amelia's toy only to be smacked in the face with it as she grabs it back.

The sharing concept just isn't too popular. But I've been trying over and over to teach Wyatt that we help share with others because Jesus expects us to. I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea--mommy doesn't want you to share; Jesus wants you to share! But that hasn't gone over well, either.

A few months ago, I gave away Amelia and Emerson's 9-month clothes. You'd have thought I was giving the babies away! I tried to explain that the twins had outgrown the outfits, showed him the armoire full of more clothes, and told him the story of the 17-year-old girl who didn't have money to buy clothes for her unexpected twins.

"Jesus expects us to help people when we can."

He listened carefully, eyes wide at the "no money" part. But still, he insisted "I not give them away" and "They not need 'Melia's clothes."

We have had the same argument each time I've given away no longer needed baby items--Amelia's & Emerson's swings, toys, the bouncers, bottles, sippy cups....

I find giving away material possessions easy. It's just "stuff." But Wyatt finds it more difficult than staying seated in the grocery cart. So today when I told him we would be bringing a bag of food to church tonight to help out the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home, I expected a meltdown on the linoleum.

I explained for the thousandth time that there were kids who didn't have mommies or daddies to take care of them. They needed our help so they would have enough food to eat. Then, I took two cans of green peas out of the cabinet and placed them in the bag.


Next came some tuna fish, a jambalaya mix, jelly, and a couple cans of corn.

No argument.

He just watched me place into a Wal-mart bag several foods he likes to eat .

As I cautiously waited for the wail of "But I wanted to eat the corn!!!", he just silently watched. Progress? Only time will tell.

Then tonight, I was faced with another opportunity to help. A woman, her young daughter, and 1-year-old granddaughter visited our church for the first time. It was obvious their lives have been much more difficult than mine has ever been. And after service, they called their ride to discover he couldn't get the car to start. They were stranded.

Here was my chance to live out what I have been preaching to my son--helping others. But if you read about the Canada trip, you know I'm terrified of being lost because of my directionless. And the lady lived on a road I was unfamiliar with.

I had a choice to make--let it be someone else's problem or walk the talk.

Pitch black country roads, drizzling rain, and no GPS.

After we dropped the trio off, Wyatt asked why. I told him the lady's car broke, something he understands because of his daddy's Jeep breaking this summer. And then I repeated again that Jesus expects us to help others.

I learned by watching my parents--to this day, my mental filing cabinet contains a clear snapshot from my childhood of my mother cooking and serving a meal to strangers who walked, not drove, to our house.

I sure hope Wyatt is watching and learning, that I'm proving enough of the right examples so he grows into a man with a servant's heart that loves others and is willing to go out of his way and overcome his fears just to lend a helping hand.

Because that's what Jesus would do.

Photo: "A Helping Hand" by Morgan Weistling


  1. He's seeing it, and he's internalizing it. Trust me. What a privilege for him to have parents who model this to him day to day. He can't help but have that work it's way into his heart.

  2. Such a beautiful portrait of serving.

    Your story, that is! It tugged at my heart. I'm so tired of life being hectic. Of me ALLOWING it to get so hectic. I'm so tired of allowing it infiltrate my mindset with the "us four and no more" thinking.

    My toes are stinging a bit this morning. And for that, I thank you.

  3. You know, I share your fear of getting lost and truly hope to see your children follow in your steps as they grow. Thank you for trusting with me.