On the way home from school we passed a couple holding a cardboard sign that read “Lost job. Please help.” We had the green light, and I drove right past them. My heart ached.
The kids asked why they were standing there because they lost their jobs. We had a lengthy discussion about employment, society, and the importance of having money to exchange for goods and services. The conversation, however, took a brief detour to discuss wind energy. The Girl suggested the people build a windmill in their yard so they could produce their own electricity and not have to pay the electric company. We all acknowledged that was a good idea, but after we puzzled through the problems of implementation, we concluded the couple still needed our help.
Then both kids asked why we didn’t stop to help them.
I told them I had lots of reasons I didn’t stop, and I did my best to explain them. I didn’t want to cause an accident by pulling up short in the midst of the flow of traffic. I’m leery about approaching strangers when I have the kids around. I don’t want to put my children in danger. I even briefly explained the sad state of society that I’m suspicious of people and their intentions. Lastly I told them that while we do our best to help as many people as we can, that we can’t help everyone.
Of course they asked what we do to help people, and I told them. I also made sure they understood that they are part of that effort. They knew exactly what I meant and started talking about how they give away their toys and clothes and participate in various programs at church. Once we discussed the ways that we can help, I told the kids that we can always do more. Then I asked them to think about what other ways we could help and to let me know what they came up with. And I knew they would, because they are ponderers.
I also knew they would take different approaches. The Girl, well, she’s a prayer warrior. I have no doubt that tonight before bed she will pour her heart out to the Lord about the people who need help. I’m positive in this because she almost always includes them in her prayers anyway, but I’m sure tonight her efforts will be doubled.
The boy, well, he’s a planner. I expect him to come up with a plan, weigh the pros and cons, and present it to us in great detail. As it turns out, I wasn’t disappointed.
About an hour after we got home, The Boy walked up to me, gave me a hug, and whispered in my ear, “Can we adopt someone? That would help.”