Make It Less Terrible

There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale…
and they were distributed to each according to need.

From Acts 4:34-35

Recent efforts by our religious education students touched my heart. Every Lent, we provide the children and any interested families a “rice bowl”. This little cardboard bank is displayed in our homes during Lent as a reminder to set aside something for those in need. Perhaps a family will give up pizza night or a child will share his or her allowance to meet this goal. After Easter, we return our rice bowls to church. I should never be surprised by the outcome because our parish family has proven to be an extremely generous bunch. It is no wonder that one particular child imitated this generosity so compassionately.

I happened to be near one of the baskets we provided for rice bowl returns. When a girl who looked to be nine years old set her rice bowl into the basket, I thanked her. Unexpectedly, she replied, “You’re welcome. I just wish I had more to give. I put in my allowance and some money I got for my birthday, but I wish I had more to give.” She went on to tell me that her dad had told her about hungry children around the world. “My dad says that so many adults are fighting that they don’t have time to worry about feeding the kids. It’s terrible.” I looked down at this sweet little angel and reminded her, “But today, it is less terrible. Many children will be fed because of you!” When she left with her broad smile, she also left her mark on me.

Compassionate God, open all of our hearts to today’s homeless and hungry.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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