Since the time our children were born, Kenny and I have made a point in talking to them about loving and caring for those who are hard to love. The value of life, how we are all made in God's image, equality and intrinsic worth have all been typical, everyday conversations in our home. My baby brother, Stephen, who is 12 years old, was born with severe special needs, and his life has made the great value of life so much more a reality for us. We desire that the children not judge others by their ability or how easy it is to love them, but loving and caring for others "in humility, not considering yourself as better than another."
This past Sunday at church, one of Evangeline's sweet friends come up to us in the hallway. In her hand was a little pink suitcase, with what appeared to be part of a stuffed animal poking out.
Ella tapped my hand, and in her sweet, little voice, quietly asked if she could give it to Evangeline. Evangeline was beaming. "Of course Ella, thank you for being so generous!" Ella handed off the suitcase to Evangeline, Evangeline gave her a huge hug, and then Ella happily skipped away. Evangeline was all smiles as she looked down and began to unzip the suitcase...
And then, she pulled out THIS:
Meet "Tiny Puppini". Evangeline has loved on that little dog like nobody's business these last few days. She has brushed, "fed" and cared for her new found treasure, all the while telling me how, "it is just as beautiful as my other animals" and "we take care of everyone, no matter how they look. "
I think all of those "teachable moments" on loving the harder to love have taken root deeper than I realized. Needless to say, I think "tiny puppini" is here to stay.