While on vacation in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I had the opportunity to visit with a lady who had moved to the states from Sweden. She struggled with broken English, yet I admired her fortitude. She shared with us how she and her husband moved to America with the hopes of partaking of the ‘American Dream.’
She told us that her husband worked for years just to make ends meet. Their food was basic, there were no luxuries, and their apartment was small. As he received a raise, they began to save a few dollars here and there until they had saved enough to purchase the motel they now own.
It didn’t take us long to see that her patriotism ran as deeply as anyone born in America. She proclaimed her love for our country and her pride to be an American Citizen. She rejoiced in the freedoms they now enjoy, and sorrowed over the ones silently slipping away.
She was passionate, as we spoke of several issues of our government such as hospitalization insurance, aid for the poor, leadership of our country, the elderly and much more. She tugged at my heartstrings as she spoke of people living in the back wood areas without running water, little food, and no vehicle to drive. (Things we often take for granted.) She said that she drove deep into the backcountry to pick up a lady desiring work.
To her amazement, and mine, she said the children did not attend school because they could not afford shoes and clothing for them. “In America, USA?” I asked myself. How could this be?
The father of the children was on disability, and the mother made enough to feed the family, yet there was little for extras. The worker spoke no English, yet both the owner and the worker managed to understand one another by gestures. The owner went on to say that this lady was one of her best workers and trustworthy, because she appreciated the opportunity extended to her.
This is just one family…we were told that there were many more who had slipped between the cracks and no one seemed to care! Yet, that wasn’t quite true, for you see, one family cared…. Cared enough to give others the opportunity to live with dignity. One family was given a job and hope for a better tomorrow.
This precious husband and wife lived out their faith and ministered to one needy family. What if every individual did the same? Are we so involved in our immediate lives that we can’t find time to extend a hand, or, do we watch for opportunities to shine in a dark place?
My own heart has judged me guilty… I have passed by someone in need, shook my head and said, “How sad, God bless,” then I went on my way. God forgive my indifference and lack of compassion! Cause my light to burn brighter.
Just as the light continues to flicker from a candle, may our flame never be extinguished in our hearts.