Today's guest post is from a very dear friend of mine, Dalia Fam. Dalia is a wife, a mother of two and a missionary serving in Lusaka, Zambia. She also happens to be the answer to a FrAnthony.com trivia question: who was the first person to ever guest post on this blog? In today's post, Dalia shares a beautiful meditation that is a perfect follow up to my last post about the #OneBrick movement. You can follow Dalia on Twitter (@AmaiAbusa) and also at her brand new blog, Simple Life of an Orthodox Mission Mom. And if you're interested in guest posting on my blog, check out my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa
Just recently, I read an article that the Australian government is not giving up on its search for the mysterious Malaysian Airlines plane that disappeared earlier this year. When it first disappeared, I was one of the first people to sign up to help find the plane without ever leaving my home. Using satellites from a private company, I was given a piece of the ocean to search and mark anything I may see. When I was awake at night with my little one, I spent hours scouring the ocean to see if I could find any wreckage or signs of this missing plane.
Although this task kept me busy during the wee hours of the night, I never found anything. But it did teach our family a lesson to apply in our mission life: each one of us in this world is responsible for a little piece of our ocean.
Yes, we are responsible for our families. Even some would argue that we are responsible for our friends. But we also have a responsibility to others we tend to overlook or just don’t have time for.
Even though I live as a missionary, I still get caught up in my life and my family that I forget to see. To see the ones we just don’t have time for. I pray that our eyes can be open to opportunities to love and give right where God has placed us. In simple, small ways. In ways that God has showed us.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Along with serving my own family, God put on my heart small ways to serve those around me. If I were baking with my son, I would invite some children whose parents work to come over. If I was doing my afternoon Orthodox homeschool or homework with my son, I invited some orphaned children to join us. On Sunday afternoons, our family invited the youth with no families to have a snack and watch sports or a movie.
Yes, at times it is hard to keep up with my own kids, much less adopt others for the afternoon. But it is worth it – because God is giving us a chance to change the world - one soul at a time.
Through my service in Africa, I have seen many children not privileged to have a family that spends time together, prays together or helps with homework. There was once a child here whose mother threw away his homework because she wanted him to do chores instead of “waste his time.” Today, this kid is top in his class and wants to be a doctor, because a few people invested in him.
This same thing applies to other adults. There are so many ideas. Sharing a cup of coffee is a blessing. Sitting in the library with the lonely classmate. Inviting someone to the cafeteria for a study or lunch break. How many regrets I still carry from overlooking stressed out and depressed classmates because I needed to ace my own classes.
We are sometimes so caught up in our own world to see the world through God’s eyes.
You can find the same thing wherever you are, in whatever piece of the ocean God has placed you in. We just have to open our eyes and see.
One of my favorite verses reminds me that when I serve others, especially the ones I overlook, I am doing it for Him. Jesus tells us, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40
There are hurting people right beside us in our little piece of the ocean. All we have to do is open our eyes and see.
If we all took time to care for our little piece of the ocean, just maybe there would be less loneliness and more love.
For discussion: In a recent blog, Fr. Anthony asked, “So what’s your brick? How are you building God’s Kingdom in your city, school, workplace, church, or even home? Show us what you’re doing and we’ll let the world know that God is working and building His Kingdom through people like you.”
So the question remains, in what ways are you caring for your little piece of the ocean? #OneBrick