It’s been many, many years but the memory is forever etched in my heart.
I was in Ukraine at the time
trying to adopt my second child.
Although moved deeply by the beautiful people
and the sight in Kiev
my heart was heavy with longing to make the adoption happen.
and my friend and I decided to go to church.
We didn’t have far to walk from our flat in the city.
Down the elevator
out the door
and a couple of blocks through the city
until we came to the outside of the church.
It was cool that day in early April.
The flowers were blooming and although I sorely missed
my eight year old daughter back in the states
I was excited about attending church in Kiev.
But as we walked towards the door of this huge church
all of a sudden we were surrounded by a group of small children
of different shapes and sizes.
For a minute I didn’t know what was happening as they pressed in close to us.
Precious children with big brown eyes and open hands.
Talking with words I could not understand.
My friend and I immediately knew…..
In a sweeping glance I took in their thin clothing and bare feet.
A few shivered in the cool air.
“What do we do?”
I had only a few coins on me. Certainly nothing like what they needed.
Hungry faces pressed closer as we deliberated what to do.
I reached in my purse and brought out all that I had
only a few coins
and dropped them in their small hands
all the while choking back my tears.
and such a great need.
A few minutes later my friend and I were sitting in a pew in this huge church
singing a song
but my heart was still outside with those small children
shivering in the morning breeze.
Feelings of great helplessness in face of such need
fueled my worship and gave meaning to my prayers.
And to this day so many years later
I still can see those outstretched hands and big brown eyes.
My heart breaks for these children who live in such poverty and pain
day after day.
She did what she could. (Mark 14:8)
Yes, although what I have seems so very small and insignificant in face
of the needs in our world
I will do what I can.
One day at a time
one person at a time.
And then as if from afar I hear those old familiar words from the beloved hymn
“When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small
Love so amazing. Love so divine.
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Wherever we see the need
no matter how great it be
let’s do what we can..
For each person doing what they can
will make a greater difference than we can possibly imagine.
Yes, I carry that moment, that shining moment in my heart
when I gave what I could.