My friend Annie has a plan for Beating the February Blues. Aren’t you glad someone does? Christmas and Valentine’s Day are both behind us, but spring isn’t quite here yet. When I run outside I can tell it’s coming: the geese are raising raising a ruckus and the world is dripping and flowing as twenty five inches of snow melts. Still the days feel short and I have to be creative to keep my toes warm. Thankfully some of Annie’s ideas have brightened our February.
Last night we had a February brightening activity of our own inspired by Compassion International.
We sponsor a child in Rwanda. I write to her a few times a year, but for the most part I have not found it easy to engage our children in the work of Compassion. They sort of vaguely know this girl is out there.
People who live below the poverty line have the worst of everything: medical care, education, food, housing. Living in poverty says things to you. Things like “You don’t deserve.” “You don’t belong.” “Your worth? Ha!” Poverty destroys you with a crushing hopelessness.
But, God loves poor people. He wants us to reserve a little space in our brains to remember that not everyone has what we have. At the very least we should be aware of contrasts like this:
To help us be aware, I set out six plates with these five ingredients:
1. three graham crackers (one of them broken)
2. a smear of peanut butter
3. half a banana
4. a small chocolate bar
5. one fruit roll up ( my children were delighted I had purchased the ones with tongue tattoos- I didn’t even know that was a thing. Did you? Clearly they knew!)
I set the stage. Pretend you live in the developing world in need of housing. You can only build a home out of what you find because you don’t have any money to purchase building supplies, and besides, there is no local Lowe’s or Home Depot. You have found some cardboard (the graham crackers), some mud (the peanut butter), a little tin (the banana) a couple of boards (the chocolate bar), and a glorious piece of plastic (the fruit roll up). You now have two minutes to construct your home. Go!
Well, maybe we should have given a little more than two minutes because several of us were still building when the timer went off.
We had some creative homes (and a delicious dessert)! For years Rich has dreamed of an octagonal kitchen. Why was I surprised at his hexagonal home?
This one was set in tin to help prevent earthquake damage.
This home included a plan for sewage in the basement. Ummm…
How about this one, with wood flooring and tin gutters?
What would your home look like?
I hope you’ve found creative ways to beat the February Blues. If you’d like more information about sponsoring a child through Compassion International, click here.