Story by Carol Hunt
I am challenged and enriched especially when I look into the eyes of the children I encounter daily. Their spontaneous love leads me to discover compassion and hope. Often, I read this prayer of hope.
-God of wonder, give us the eyes of children to respond with delight to the newness and freshness of each moment.”
When I enter into their moments of joy and hope, I also enter with them into their poverty and pain. Hope is waiting to be born in the unlikeliest places.
Down the road, I encounter clothes hung on wire fences creating a garden of color around the dirty, gray, windowless broken trailers. At the door of one trailer, I found a note to me pasted on a glass jar filled with pennies. Written in large letters, in pencil, the note read: -We saved pennies that we found on the streets to help you buy more food for Sarah-™s family who lives in trailer lot 14.- These children knew the pain of hunger. A simple glass jar brimming with compassion.
Last month I enrolled a frightened sixth grader in yet another school, his third since November. He came to our shelter with his addicted mother, having experienced in his short life, an environment filled with violence. As we entered his grade to meet his new teacher and classmates, a boy walked across the room and reached to hug me. I looked at his beautiful face and remembered that he too had one stood beside me four years earlier. His words deeply affected me: -Don-™t worry, Miss Carol, I remember how it feels, so I-™ll be his best friend.- In that classroom doorway, this child had fully experienced, expressed, and understood the word compassion. In humble gratitude, this child reminded of all the moments our lives had intertwined, challenged me to remember these words: -Perfection does not consist of performing extraordinary actions, but rather performing extraordinarily well, the ordinary action of every day.- Every ordinary action is an opportunity. When we experience compassion, we are moved to love.
May we have the eyes of children as we embrace each new and fresh discovery.
Let us delight in the moment.