I have never met anyone with a greater love of lipgloss than little Miss M. A while back she was praying before bed and her genuine and sincere prayer included these words: “Daddy God, thank you because you’re going to give me a lipgloss. A BIG lipgloss. A big HUGE lipgloss.” ahaha it was so cute, especially because she’s only four!
M. has been having a hard time since the arrival of another four-year-old girl to Kiwi House. She’s not the only adorable little tiny one in the house anymore, and despite all of the assurance we’ve lavished on her that she is still just as special to us.. she’s jealous, and that’s normal. This jealousy has been showing itself through various passive aggressive (and just plain aggressive..) acts on her part, including one night when she threw quite the fit about wanting a lipgloss belonging to E. M screamed for a long while that she wanted E.’s red lipgloss before changing her scream to “NO! I WANT A PURPLE LIPGLOSS!” and then finally calming down enough to just cry it out in my arms. One of the things I explained to her was that E. didn’t have to give her the lipgloss, no matter how much she wanted it, but that she could pray for one if she so desired. And so began the second lipgloss prayer that I’ve heard from her little lips: “Daddy God please give me a purple lipgloss amen.”
I was not expecting God to answer her tantrum & following prayer with exactly what she had asked for, but the next day our three little one’s celebrated a classmate’s birthday at their preschool and were each given a party-favor bag. Each one contained different gifts (which has been the catalyst for even more jealous fits.. “but I wanted the playdough!” etc. ahaha) and one of the gifts in M.’s party bag was…
a glittery, purple, LIPGLOSS!
I was shocked, she was not, ahaha… & that’s the beauty of children’s faith: they really believe. We learn best when we experience things, and I’ve experienced enough blessings from God to know that He LOVES to bless us, His children. And not only does He love to bless us with what we need, but I am absolutely convinced that God loves to bless us with things we want as well. I’m remembering all sorts of things God has provided for me, things that were wanted.. but definitely not needed: my favorite deodorant freshly for sale in Colombia, a beautiful dress in Chile, coconut perfume for my birthday, Bath & Body Works for Christmas… there has been so much.
I was thinking about this as I marveled that little lavender lipgloss in M.’s hands, and I was like, “But God. I don’t understand… I just don’t get it. WHY do you give us these things we don’t even NEED, when there are people all over the world suffering because they don’t have the things they need, much less want?! “WHY ARE YOU PROVIDING LIPGLOSS IN COLOMBIA BUT NOT WATER IN AFGHANISTAN?!” I was ticked off, frustrated by my own abundance which doesn’t make any sort of sense and it certainly isn’t fair, but His answer came clear & quiet.
“..every blessing you’ve seen Me give has been provided through people..”
God loves to bless, and He longs to bless ALL of His children.. but He asks us, invites us, expects us, uses us… to bless each other. To take care of one another in the tangible ways we are all so capable of doing. God gave M. that lipgloss because there was someone willing to give that to her, for Him, even though they may not have realized they were blessing on behalf of God. He is absolutely & entirely present with those who are suffering… but are we? Just because I’m a missionary in a faraway culture does not mean I am doing everything I can to bless other people, not at all. I feel God nudging me to financially & prayerfully bless people who are doing something about issues I’m passionate about, like these people, who work to keep babies & birth mothers together, therefore reducing the amount of abandoned & orphaned children in their community. Or these people, who provide (re-usable!) pads for girls in Uganda so that they don’t have to miss a ton of school (and ultimately drop-out) just because they’re on their period. I don’t have a lot of money, but I do have a personal budget which I tend to spend part of on things like peanut butter and itunes. I don’t think that’s wrong, but it is money I could be using to bless others instead of only myself.
Our Father asks us, invites us, expects us… to help each other out, to figure out ways that all of humanity can have access to safe drinking water, and healthy food, and everything else we all NEED… and yes, to sometimes even provide the things that are simply wanted. God invites you to be part of His generosity, His beauty, His love… so listen to what He’s saying to you, and together we can bring a little bit of Heaven to Earth.
“there’s only one thing, one thing.. that we were ever called to.. that’s to take what we’ve been given, and it give it away… freely you’ve received, freely give it away…”
(from a very confronting & challenging song by Nina Landis)