“I just wanted to say goodbye.” I looked up from my paperwork to see his blond head poking through the doorway of the clinic. “I’m leaving today. They found a home for me.” It had only been a couple of weeks since he arrived at the emergency foster shelter, but I had fallen in love with his broad grin and hi-5’s as I passed through every morning. I gave him a quick hug, but then he pulled back, and with a serious look on his face, dug into the back pocket of his faded jeans, pulling out a worn white letter-sized envelope. He opened it and dumped out its contents. A few dollar bills and some coins bounced across my desk. I looked up, puzzled. “It’s to help the other kids, the ones here who don’t have much. It’s all I have.”
My mind jumped to a centuries old story of someone else who gave everything.
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21: 1-4 (NLT)
I was speechless, and when I didn’t immediately respond, he backed up a step and dropped his head a little. “I know it isn’t very much, but it’s all I have and so many kids here don’t have anything. I thought maybe I could do something.” I didn’t know what to do so I just grabbed him and held him tight. One last hi-5 and he was gone, but in no way forgotten. His words are still with me.
“It’s all I have. I thought maybe I could do something.”
What could the foster system look like if a bunch of people thought we could do something if we gave everything we have. Resources. Time. Home. Family. Love. I’ll tell you what it would look like – it would be a story of hope so great that it would still be talked about in 2000 years. Is it worth it to you? Will you give all you have? Or just whatever you have left over…