The Miracle of Small Things

We are in the middle of our Back-to-School drive for school supplies and donations to assist kids in our community who are in need, often desperate need, of the basics. Pencils, paper, 3-ring notebooks, composition books, glue sticks, pen, crayons and book bags are not the things we think will change the world, yet such small things are the small miracles that do make a difference.  Throughout the year, contributions are used to provide ongoing support of the most vulnerable children in our community.

An example of this is best told by someone who works with these precious children:

This was supposed to be a typical visit to check on a family which had struggled from time to time.  But today was different. 

When the door opened, the first scene was that of a man sitting incoherent on the sofa.  The squalor in the home indicated poverty and suggested drug use. The woman who had answered the door seemed nervous, wary about the visit from this social worker, an outsider. Immediately and without a word, she appeared with a bottle of bleach and poured it, undiluted, on the floor.  

Only one possibility made sense:  she was trying to cover a smell. The social worker asked to see the children – to make sure they were okay.  The children were brought out, and during the ensuing conversation, one child – of upper elementary school age — began to cry.  The incoherent father made no move from the sofa to respond to his child.

It was obvious that the child was overwhelmed by this situation  and powerless to do anything about it.  However, he was able to talk about another situation, also frightening but easier to grasp:  he was failing all of his classes at school.  He became more agitated, finally exclaiming “how do they expect me to do my work when I don’t even have pencils and paper and a notebook?”

No response from the sofa.  But the woman in the home was adamant:  “the children do too have school supplies!” She left the room and soon returned, waving a sheet of notebook paper.  “See?”

The boy cried even more pitifully.   The social worker perceived multiple problems, some of which defy quick and easy solutions.  But one solution was close at hand.  In her car were school supplies in abundance, including book bags, paper, note books, pens, pencils, crayons, note cards, glue sticks, and markers.  All of these items had been donated by the congregation of North Fayette United Methodist Church. 

The social worker implored the woman in the home to clean up the bleach, and asked,  “Can I take your children outside to get away from the fumes?”  The woman nodded yes.  

The social worker took the children outside to her car, where they picked out new book bags and filled them with all the school supplies they needed.  Their tears began to dry as they picked bags and notebooks in their favorite colors, and smiles lit up their faces.  Truly, God had seen the chaos in this household and made an appearance in the form of pencils and notebooks, covering His children with caring.

The adults charged with caring for them had problems that were so extensive, they were unable to provide even the most basic needs for the children.   Yet, even in such a situation, great good can be done by providing the simple things, things that encourage and enable children to rise above.

We welcome your participation whether you buy the supplies, give a donation or donate gift cards. Such ordinary things make an extraordinary difference.

God bless you.

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