Each week he is taught the power of a dollar given to good and the power of an hour given to help. This week he was also taught the power of a ballot. He stood at my side as I explained that a small mark would join others and together be one loud voice.
He sees me deny the urge to yell with keyboard clicks. The computer closes and my hands set to a more powerful task. Change filled with good doesn’t come from words filled with pride. And all the belief your heart can hold will never carve a mark unless it grows some strong arms and hardworking hands.
Computer screens and closed doors rarely love neighbors.
And who is your neighbor? Well Jesus answered that one a long time ago; didn’t he? He also taught then what love doesn’t look like. It isn’t crossing to the other side of the street and looking the other way. Love was an action. It always is.
Today, I put our empty water jug in the bottom of the stroller and we set out to fill it up. The store isn’t far, but we took a different course. A longer way that didn’t make any real sense but called our name. We sat on a bench that we had never thought to sit on before. Ezra knelt to pick some flowers.
Two little girls approached; on their own, no adult in sight. They spoke their names and took a knee beside him. They began to pick flowers too. Silently the three of them sat plucking small orange blossoms. There were flecks of afternoon sun in their hair and hardly a word spoken. After awhile it was time for us to move along and still no one had come for them. No voice had called out their names. They knew the street they lived on and so we walked them home.
Later, we spoke of paths that take a little longer and actions that are a little harder. We spoke of what love looks like when it’s poured out into the small cracks of life. Ezra looked at the asphalt under foot and spoke four simple words, “It was worth it.”
I looked up with the weight of that on my chest and saw a man sitting right in the middle of his lawn holding a brand new baby. Tiny newborn feet brought to feel the grass for the first time. He was being shown the beauty of something we trample on every day.
We teach our children what to value right from the beginning; by our actions, inactions, and the reach of our love. It’s never a waste.
It is always worth it.
“In these bodies we will live. In these bodies we will die. And where you invest your love; you invest your life.”