"We need to help people," my daughter informed me the other night in the car. "We need to go to the store and buy stuff for people every day."
Now, don't get me wrong, I was impressed by her sudden stance of philanthropy, which I am guessing was triggered by watching the Veggie Tales' Lord of the Beans the other night. But significant shopping? That caught me by surprise.
So I paused. Took a deep breath. And started talking.
"Sometimes we help people, and God calls us to do it in different ways," I stumbled to explain. "Sometimes that's with money, sometimes that's with sharing what we have. Sometimes we buy stuff they need like groceries."
She raised an eyebrow but kept listening.
"And sometimes, we don't have the money to help people, and that's OK too. You can help by doing something or playing or giving a hug or a smile."
She paused for a moment. "OK but we need to buy stuff too."
It's tough to break through to a child that helping people doesn't always have to equal buying something, since that's the most immediate thing they see. But the cool thing about this story was she didn't give up. For the last few days, she's reminded me that we need to help people. And finally, we came up with a solution.
Tonight, we sat down together and made a card to give to a kid who are sick. I'll drop it off at the pediatric unit at the hospital on the way to my office one morning. But the cool thing is, it was her call. And her heart. And that is just fine with me!