is my Annikah. She is feisty, demanding, creative, spunky, smart, observant, dramatic, stubborn, caring, and has such soft heart. One of my great joys in life is watching Anni develop compassion and love for others that are different. For people she has no “selfish advantage” of gaining something by loving. I think this is a special gift in life to begin to see just a glimpse of what God sees in people. In His economy you don’t love because you get something out it. You love those that in the world’s eyes are without value. And you have the time to love. He flips this upside kingdom right side up in Jesus’ coming. And it is full of love, mercy, grace, and all things compassion.
Last week Anni and I went to town to run some errands and she gripped my sweaty hand and followed me through the market accomplishing various “to-do’s.” I promised her she could pick out a juice (if they had one in the cooler at the little duka outside the veggie stand) and at the end of our list we would stop and sit a while at a coffee shop and I would read her some of her carefully selected books she carried over her shoulder in her well worn book tote. We finally finished and they even had juice (score!). We turned down the street toward the shop and as we entered the coffee shop we saw a man that is physically disabled. He cannot walk but sits on a piece of cardboard and has a bicycle contraption he has made out of old bike parts to help him get around. My heart breaks often at how difficult life is for people who are mentally or physically challenged in this culture where there are few helps or nets to assist them. He often sits outside this coffee shop asking for money. When Jason are in town we often try to talk to him and help in a small way with money or banana bread. There is something is his eyes that draws me to him. He has a kind smile that defies his situation. I always breath in a little and ask God to give me Joy, regardless of my circumstances. I am inspired for a moment but then in the hurry of life we rush in, I order a coffee, we select a seat and we read together. It was a great Mama- Anni date and she made sure I knew she would love to do this again. I promised. As we paid Anni asked if she could give some of the money to the man outside. She said “Mama, I think he needs it and maybe he has no home.” Probably her reasoning after past explanations about her questions about the many people who beg. I slipped a worn coin in her palm and told her I thought Jesus would love that. She smiled big and wide and marched outside and over to the man. She greeted him with the respectful “Shikamo” and then bowed slightly as children often do here to show respect and placed the coin in his hand. He smiled that smile, thanked her, and she said goodbye. As we walked away she whispered “Dear Jesus, please help him to not be poor and to find a house. Thank you Jesus. Amen.” Anni often prays as she has already received. And isn’t that how it should be? As we made our way back through the winding streets to the chaos of the day I felt full. And Thankful. That my daughter can teach me.