A Faraway Relative (or Friend)

Yesterday I was stopped at a red light when a school bus let off a young girl in the the house next to the road. I’m guessing she was about ten. As soon as she hit the ground she turned around and threw her arms in the air as if she was celebrating a Cubs win or something. My first thought was this was the start of some school vacation, but that didn’t make sense.

Then she waved to the kids on the bus and that’s when I noticed that she had her phone in hand and was actually videoing what she was doing. She kept the phone focused on her face as she walked down the long driveway and was obviously explaining something to all her hoped-for fans.

I had already been thinking about doing a post on Proverbs 25:25 – Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Watching the girl, I was even more motivated.

Because some kids love doing videos. Some kids love putting on shows. Some kids love to draw pictures. Some kids love writing notes.

Who is it in your family or in your circle of acquaintances is lonely? Who would be delighted to received a video of a child’s day or a picture drawn by a child? Who would be astonished to hear from you? (Sometimes a child’s communication can get through even when an adult’s communication is rejected.)

My mother and aunt grew up in different homes (long story) and weren’t especially close. This was made all the harder because my aunt was not a warm, fuzzy kind of person and although she didn’t ignore my mother’s desire to talk about the past, she didn’t encourage it either. She never married and was close to a family with whom she worked in ministry, so we didn’t do holidays together or anything. (We lived across the country from one another.) But every Christmas I sent pictures of my kids and often included drawings, etc. We didn’t figure that she paid too much attention to them. She didn’t respond.

But one time my parents were in the area and dropped in to see her at her job. Guess what? My kids pictures were all over her walls … and she had named the characters in the curriculum she was writing after her great niece and nephew.

Inside, she wanted that connection to family even though she didn’t outwardly show it. Is there someone in your family like that? They don’t show up for family gatherings, seldom write, or send email or texts. They live far away and the communication is not there.

You don’t know what that person is thinking. You don’t know the depths of loneliness he or she might be feeling. You don’t know what is keeping him/her away from the rest of the family.

With your kids, why not pray for that person and then encourage them to create something special to send to that faraway relative

this holiday season?

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