So much happened over the weekend, since I shared with you all on Friday! First, I have to give you some background on what a typical day looks like for me. A few days a week I have to get up and get the kids around early so we can leave the house to get Sean to school, the other days his dad takes him. Friday of last week was one of those days. Usually I will sleep in a little, Lyla and I will hang out, make breakfast, watch some toons and usually color Hello Kitty coloring books. These mornings are our lazy mornings…and I LOVE them. So what does this have to do with clothes? Usually I don’t get dressed until sometime after 11 am, so last week when I wrote to you I was still in my PJ outfit. But then, when I got dressed for the day…I realized that I had a shirt I had not worn yet that is part of my seven clothes, a white t-shirt. I was so happy I was practically dancing around my room looking for this shirt. I keep looking and looking and I CAN’T FIND IT. I realize that I must have packed it away with all the other clothes that I stored back for a later month Possessions. So what do I do? I go to my closet and I slip on my chambray shirt faster than you can squeeze a lemon wedge and I felt very happy. Today is the third day I have worn this outfit. This is the chambray shirt and my dark wash jeans. I wore this Friday, Saturday and then I have this on again today. Yes…I am wearing dirty clothes again and it’s day eight.
Here is a recurring theme that has sprung up over the weekend: I am getting dressed and I realize I have no seven clothes clean and I feel angry. Angry is a strong word, we all know that. And I really am putting myself in others shoes. Because as soon as I start to feel sorry for myself a little bit, my heart breaks all over again. Last night as I was getting ready for bed I realized I didn’t have a clean shirt and I just WANTED A CLEAN SHIRT TO SLEEP IN SO BAD! Derick could tell there was something on my mind because he asked what I was thinking. I said, “I’m thinking about kids without clothes.”
The year Sean was in kindergarten, I was in the drop off lane and I saw something that squeezed my heart so hard I wanted to lay down and die. What did I see? I saw a little girl, a tiny little thing who had to be a kindergardener walking into school in front of Sean in a adult size t-shirt that hung to her knees, she had bare legs (I hope there were shorts underneath) and shoes that were worn and appeared to be AT LEAST four sizes too big. To be honest, she looked filthy. I was filled with so many emotions at once. I wanted to jump out grab her, take her home and give her a bath and get her clean clothes and then take her back to school. The other part of me was just OUTRAGED. And I wanted to go into the school and ask how this could be happening!? The temperature would not reach over 40 degrees that day. All day I thought about was that sweet girl. When I picked up Sean I asked if he knew her. He said he didn’t really…but he knew she was in the other kindergarden class, and that she was actually too young to be in school, but her parents couldn’t afford to care for her so she was going to school anyway. (Who knows how accurate this was–he was in kindergarden after all! But there had to be something shared that made the kids feel this was a little girl who was lacking in care.)
As I am standing in my room last night angry for a clean shirt, my resolve washes away and I think of all of the people, adults and children alike in our back yard who don’t have their basic needs met. They don’t have shoes that fit. They don’t have clothes that fit. They don’t have clean clothes to wear to school. Here is another thing I have learned: it is so hard to focus and do your best when you are wearing DIRTY CLOTHES! And I’m not talking about a pair of jeans that you have to wear twice. I’m talking about a pair of socks that is pulled out of a dirty clothes basket that haven’t been washed in over a week (this is just an example…I am wearing clean socks you all. Bless my heart.) Or sometimes for some of these sweet souls…there are no clothes besides what is on their back. That is all they have. They may not even know what clean clothes feel like.
So my heart is on my neighbors today. People in my own back yard who I can’t burden myself with to give an old pair of shoes or a shirt that has been worn once!
Here is what Jesus had to say about helping our neighbor.
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matt 19:17-19)
If we want to enter life, we need to LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. My prayer today is that I see clothes as some see them every day. A basic need. A need that God gave us to cover ourselves, and to keep warm when needed. A need that every human on this planet has…but that we take to a whole extra degree in our country. I want to think of clothes as a need and not a want.
So what ways can we help our neighbor with these basic needs today? If you are here local in the Springfield area, two of my favorite organizations for this cause that are targeted towards school aged kids are:
Lets spread hope today for the basic needs of others. Please share the links to these organizations via social media today if you are local. If you are from another region what are some organizations that are helping meet basic needs in your community?