When my brother Larry lived in Antarctica, he ordered a big-screen TV. It would have fit in his room. He could have watched his great collection of movies alone. Instead, he put the TV in the community room and bought a S’Mores machine to go with it. “Everything is more fun when it’s shared,” he says.
I confess I don’t always include people in my fun. It’s easier to do the offbeat things I enjoy when I grab my keys and go. But Larry is the angel on my shoulder who reminds me to reach out. He makes a cute angel. Last week, I decided to take my camera to downtown Tulsa. Tulsa likes its art in the open. Bold murals awaken morning commuters. Sculptures dance outside, inviting people to leave their cubicles and lunch in the sun. The very numbers on our buildings are crafted with passion.
I put it off for a week and invited some friends. Sunday, we gathered for a photo scavenger hunt.
Boldest bunch: The Sparks family took a picture of a stranger getting her hair done. Todd’s daughter fought a 50-foot grackle, and her little brother Jackie Chan’d a wacky waving inflatable tube man. Sparks got sparks. (Yipes. My sil is out. Blame it on the paint fumes.)
Attention to detail: Gerry Darrow discovered a splatted bug sculpted in the grill of the Route 66 and Riverside statue. Who knew?
Heart-melting pic: On the scavenger hunt list was an item which corresponded to Chapter 2 in Wisdom – Better than Wishing. The chapter is entitled, “Listen to Your Heart?” It talks about how our Father’s heart is much more reliable. In the picture, Todd’s son listens to his daddy’s heart.
Strangest photo op: Baby Joe wanted a motorcycle and all he got was this walker. Apparently, he’d rather walk than let his friends know his rearview mirror is a daisy.
When we parted ways, I was soaring on creativity shared. I couldn’t help but think of a lady I’d met at the eWomen conference on Saturday. She’d asked, “Why do Christians help people in other countries when there are people here who need help?” I told her we should definitely help people in our own country, but why limit ourselves? Keeping all our resources at home is like installing a big screen in your bedroom, or painting murals to decorate your garage. Generosity is invigorating. God enjoys doing things together, and He uses three levels of kindness to build our faith.
In Your Face: You’re inside your own head, when God plants someone in your way who needs immediate help. After you’ve taken that step of faith a few times, God will mature you further by making you a mentor. Learn to set appropriate boundaries and appreciate people. They’re not projects; they’re friends.
In Your Town: Your city has gifted people who want to house the homeless, counsel the hurting, teach the challenged, and free the addicted. These people provide services which may not be in your skillset. Like artists, their work can’t be done without your support. Fund them—their efforts make your community a nicer place to live.
In Your World: Who in your life has gone to war? Who from your high school has lost everything to drugs? Wars and gangs are staffed by the desperate. Outside our borders are people who live in circumstances far below the poorest of the American poor. It takes so little to help, it’s silly to ignore the need. My husband and I can spend on dinner what it takes to create a future for someone’s grinning baby brother, or to rescue his trafficked sister.
My new friend Joann sponsors a child through Compassion International. He’s going to be a pilot when he grows up. That might never happen if God hadn’t connected a schoolteacher in Tulsa with a little boy in Africa. Everything is more fun when it’s shared.
If you’d like to take a step of faith that will change your life, sponsor a child through Compassion International today. You won’t miss the money, because you’ll be working with the Creator of everything you need. If you’re already helping a child, check out 211.org to find ministries in your local area. When you click on the site, it auto-pops a warning that your internet use may be tracked. That’s just a safety tip from the website reminding us that cookies are everywhere. Giving doesn’t always have to be about money. When you spend time working with generous people, you’ll leave with more energy than when you arrived.
I don’t know when, but we will definitely to do another scavenger hunt. Join us!