Motherhood can bring many changes in one’s life and heart. For instance, the once carefree weekends of date nights and sleeping in are exchanged for early bed times, picking up toys, and quiet family walks to the park all while rotating endless loads of laundry. All of those have been welcomed life changes for me. Other changes have not been as easy and nothing will remind you more of how selfish you can be than to become a parent. With that said, being a parent has made me more selfless. Our schedule now revolves around our son’s sleep, activities that make him happy, and what is best for us as a family. In the past I would have several tabs open on my computer with my online shopping carts full of things I wanted; new fall sweaters, a purse, the latest Tory Burch ballet flats…. you get the picture. Now if you ask me what I want, my first thought goes to my son’s need of new tennis shoes, saving to decorate his “big boy room”, George’s second birthday party, prepping food for his school lunch, etc. This change of thought is welcome and a healthy evolution of life: moving from thinking mostly of your needs to thinking of others, and who better to give your love and attention to than your child.
When Laura and I planned to start this blog we wanted to use it as a way to stay connected but also a way to have meaningful conversations. With that said, here I go.
Like many of you I like to keep up with current events. I “Skimm” every morning, try to watch the first hour of Morning Joe, and read up on the latest gossip on the DailyMail. Usually I would say that what I read is not the most spiritually invoking. Example: Yeezy wants to run for president in 2020, someone put clothes on Miley Cyrus, wake me up when Donald Trump is not running for President, will Kate Middleton come out of hiding in Norfolk so we can see what she is wearing? Haha, another post, another time. In the scheme of life all of that doesn’t matter, but I have really had my heart pricked in the last week by a little boy named Aylan.
As some of you may have read there were images released of a little boy whose body washed up on the shore of Turkey. His name was Aylan Kurdi and he was a Syrian refugee fleeing the civil war in his home country. Aylan was traveling with his mother, father, and older brother. They were making their way by boat to Greece to seek a better life in Europe. Aylan and his mother and brother drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.
As I was reading through the news a few days ago, I was gripped by this image and I could not help but think of my own son, George. Later that afternoon I was rocking him before his nap. He had played hard outside, and as he fell asleep on my shoulder I looked down and realized I had forgotten to take off his Thomas the Train sneakers. As I slipped them off, trying not to wake him, I could not help but get tears in my eyes. I was thinking about the image I had seen earlier of the little boy, just a little bit older then my own son, laying on the beach still wearing his sneakers. His parents probably did just like myself that morning and sat him in their lap putting on his socks first, followed by each shoe. Maybe they had to ask him to stop wiggling so they could get them on just like I had asked my son. Maybe he reached around and grasped their face to tell them his little words just as George does. Honestly, who knows what their morning was like but I started to imagine. Maybe in a different destiny or a different world my son George would have been born as Aylan in Syria. The thought of that is a very different reality from what I experience day to day. It really puts things in perspective and makes even what I want for my son look insignificant. The birthday parties, the toys, school lunches… none of that matters if he does not have life.
I received a text message from my sister on Saturday, just a few days after I had seen the story of Aylan. The text was a picture of a Facebook status a friend of hers had shared. Here it is:
“If you are a person spending any minutes discussing your “faith-based anti-gay marriage” stance while terrified babies are slipping out of their desperate parents arms and into the churning, deep, dark waters never to be seen again… well, you’re looking at the reason the world has become less and less interested in your “faith based” anything. Entering into relief work with the refugees = hard. Complaining about gay people getting married = easy. Stop choosing the easy thing and pretending that “defending God” is your cross to bear. God didn’t ask you to defend God. God is bigger than you and doesn’t need your protection… I would like to suggest that every Christian choose a faith tenant that requires HER family to change and to act and to sacrifice instead of somebody else’s”
This is not a statement about gay marriage. What it is is a call to question what is required of my family to change and to act and to sacrifice for the cause of the displaced and hurting people in our world. It’s a question I have been pondering and I ask you to ponder with me.
So today I am thinking of a boy named Aylan and a little boy named George. They come from such different realities but I am sure their parents want very similar things for them. What can I learn from this? I learn that I want to teach my children more about our hurting world and less about toys, football season, and getting what we want. I want to focus on ways God is calling me to act in his name for the displaced. I want the Lord to turn my heart to serve this broken world, to live outside of my “to do lists” and what I want for myself and my family.
So on most days this blog will be a conversation of what we are having for dinner or maybe even what we buying for our children, but today we pause and think of how we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to our lost and hurting world. I am honestly not sure what can be done to help the Aylans of this world escape war but what I do know is my heart aches for them. Because in another destiny, in a very different world, little Aylan could have been my George and that breaks my heart. And if that were the case, I hope that someone thousands of miles away would care enough to act.
If you know of a way to get involved in helping the refugees in the middle east please respond below.