With kids, finding the teachable moment is the first step in teaching them about treating the physically or mentally impaired with compassion (or any other topic, for that matter).
So yesterday at McDonalds, I had a golden opportunity to teach my kids this lesson. In the play area, a dark-skinned toddler caught my eye. She wore a frilly pink dress … and carried a long, white cane.
Sarah waited until we were seated next to the little girl’s parents to ask, “Mom, why does that girl look weird?”
The middle-aged white couple tensed up, and. I smiled apologetically, then turned to talk directly with my daughter. “Honey, that little girl’s eyes don’t work. She uses the cane to help her walk. But just look at her run and laugh!
“God makes each of us with different gifts and challenges. All of us need to share our gifts, and love and help each other with the challenges. That little girl was born in a place where children don’t get good medical attention. So her Mommy and Daddy adopted her – just like we adopted you – and brought her here. She is so BLESSED, and she wants to be your friend. Can you play with her, and share your gift of friendship?”
Her eyes lit up, and soon the girls were playing ring-around-the-rosey. “We ALL have gifts and challenges … I like that!” the little girl’s mother said to me.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of motherly compassion.