Hope brought hope to all the earthworms on the way to The Bus Stop this morning. I wonder what God was thinking when He created the earthworm. Was it intended as a food source for birds and bait for fisherman? Was it one of the first animals He sent to Adam? How did Adam choose names for the animals? Did the animals line up from smallest to largest to be named? Why is the earthworm the first animal we dissect in public schools? Are unicorns real? What came first the chicken or the egg? There are so many questions I want to ask my Heavenly Father when we meet face to face.
Hope began her quest to save the earthworms when she could first walk. During one of our first puddle jumping excursions she noticed the little wriggly things and wanted to keep them all for pets. We went home, selected a couple of canning jars and turned them into homes complete with dirt, grass and leaves. Little did I know that Hope’s determination to save the earthworms was only the beginning of a mission to save all God’s animals that she thought needed saving.
So Hope and I played lifeguard for the earthworms that were in the fast moving current headed towards the storm drain. Hope and I played crossing guards and saved the earthworms headed the wrong way towards the street. We saved baby earthworms, we saved mom earthworms and we saved big old earthworms. I think we must have rescued nearly 100 worms this morning.
The boys at The Bus Stop just stared at us in awe. I wondered if they would come help us on our venture. “My mom would never ever touch a worm,” shouted one boy, as I showed him my handful of worms squirming about in my hand. The boys continued shouting.
“Come look at the one we stepped on and killed!”
“Come look at the dead slug!”
Oh boy, I thought, these boys have no idea the delicate territory they are crossing. Here it comes. Would Hope begin one of her famous lectures on life and how all animals have a right to live? Hope is not a quiet child, she can debate with the best of them, and if given the chance, I bet any politician would quiver once Hope got started. Her points are always valid; she speaks with eloquence and uses vocabulary some college students have not yet mastered.
I have taught all my girls to have voices. I have taught them all opinions matter. My parents were great leaders in their vocations, with loud voices. My mother was a woman ahead of her time and these traits have been passed down to my daughters. I am proud of my girls when they come home and tell me they spoke up for the underdog! Before Faith went away to college, one of my daily questions, which all my girls needed to answer at the dinner table was, “Who did you help today?” I continued this practice until helping people was the norm in our household and I knew that my daughters were stepping outside of the box and assisting people every day.
Joy came to me one day last week with a thought provoking statement. “Mom, I wish people looked on the outside what they are like on the inside.” She went on to talk about some people she knew at school and how they may have handsome or pretty faces but all they do is judge or pick on others. “If they looked how they act they would be really ugly!”
Wow. Out of the mouths of babes once again, and so perfectly spoken. Children can so honestly see into the hearts of others just by how they behave. God sees our hearts clearly at all ages. Once we become teenagers and adults we witness some people cloaking their personalities, some people “playing the game” or using and manipulating people for their own best interests.
Love your neighbor as yourself. This is a very hard concept for us to understand. We are taught to judge others at an early age by the world around us. How can we love our neighbor if we are taught to keep up with the Joneses? Somehow, somewhere in time we got it all mixed up.
Even earthworms are beautiful to a child. It takes a child to save an earthworm. It takes a child to turn the world inside out to see it how it truly is. Today I walked to The Bus Stop; I saved some earthworms and dirtied my manicure. But it was worth it. I did it for my daughter. This is my daughter who is always helping those that feel hopeless.
I see Hope for a future. I see Joy in tomorrow. I know there is some Compassion in every human being. I have Faith that we can learn to love our neighbor. I believe in my children. I know I trained them up to see the world a little differently. I have taught them to love all people, even those that may be hard to love. They do not have what the world views as a perfect family, but they have the love and support of a mother who would walk on the moon for them and who would dive into the deepest abyss for them. Kind of like our heavenly father. We just need to ask Him for help.
Today I challenge you to look through the eyes of your child. Believe in them and help them save what they think needs saving. Ask them who they helped today. Rearrange your life and try to love your neighbor even if you don’t want to. Open your heart to someone you haven’t opened it to yet. And if you need help, look up to Jesus and let Him enter in.