Encounter With a Ukrainian Child
I have a new keepsake. It’s a little wrinkled, and not quite balanced in proportion, but it is beautiful. And beautiful for a special reason.
My husband and I just returned from Ukraine and Poland, where we had the privilege of speaking to several groups of people. One was at an orphanage in Kiev.
When we arrived, we saw a group of beautiful children playing in the backyard. Their eyes sparkled and their faces beamed as they met the new Americans who had come to visit.
Through their interpreter they were full of questions. “Do you have any children?” “What is your favorite thing to eat?” and the one I hate – “How old are you?” Then they giggled as they heard my replies.
After a period of this quasi-conversation, I retreated to inside where the adults were gathered.
Then came the special moment.
A little girl, probably 9 years old, brought me a present. The glue wasn’t quite dry, so I had to hold it carefully at first. This precious little girl had brought me a piece of artwork she had made for me. There was some paint, some glue, and a few leaves and wildflowers. A beautiful creation.
Memories flashed of my own children bringing me such treasures – many years ago. I also thought about the creations which had come from my grandchildren.
But this one was unique. This art treasure – along with the smile – were the only ways Olena could communicate with me. We didn’t speak the same language, but we could demonstrate the same language. The language of love.
I plan to frame my new treasure and keep it as a reminder. A reminder of the human heart and the kindness that we see.
This little girl didn’t have a happy home for security. She was isolated from family who could bring her love and moral support. Yet here she was showing me perfect love and kindness.
My new treasure also reminds me of the human desire to have purpose. Olena wanted to create something beautiful – and she sought to be a giver. In her action she showed her desire to be significant. And she was.
I carefully inserted this new work of art into a plastic bag and found a secure spot in my luggage. This was significant to me, and I wanted to make certain that it made it home in a good state.
As we look around us, we see many children who are yearning to be significant. Of course, they are all significant to God, but many don’t know it. They may have turbulent homes which don’t encourage them. They even may be demeaned by those closest to them.
That’s why it’s important for God’s people to show these little ones something different. A smile or a word of encouragement can be helpful. If there’s a chance for greater interaction, take it. Your actions might be just what the little ones need to bring them to a higher place in God.
Reach out. Take the time. Show them love.
That’s what I plan to do.
In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me, also.
Keep Moving Forever Upward!