by Stan Parker
LANSING, MI – Recently, Nyla, a five-year-old child had what appeared to be a typical discussion regarding her upcoming birthday with her mother. While the discussion was initially viewed as typical, the results were far from it. When Nyla was asked by her mother what she wanted to do for her birthday, Nyla replied, “Let’s bring all of the homeless to our house and feed them.” Her mom was somewhat surprised by the response from Nyla, but was moved by her compassion. Therefore, Nyla’s mom stated, “I don’t think we can do that, but we can help to feed them.”
Nyla’s mom then searched for a special food pantry to support the greater Lansing community. A friend of Nyla’s mother, and a friend of Faith Fellowship recommended the Faith Pantry.
As we remember Matthew 19:14, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Nyla’s desire and determination to celebrate beyond herself is an example of the powerful impact of a child’s compassion at a young age. Nyla’s consideration of others who are less fortunate is a by-product of the training she has been given by her parents. It is such a joy to see we still have parents who are willing to follow the wisdom of God’s word as recorded in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.
As Nyla and her family delivered the food to the Faith Pantry, their little big and smiles displayed joy as they unloaded their food donation. When asked why she wanted to give food to the homeless she responded that she really wanted to help them. Nyla wanted to show them they were loved. The kind and gentle spirit of Nyla needs to be taught to all of God’s children and the world we live in will be a better place. It is such a joy even in the midst of a pandemic to see how children can focus beyond themselves and show care and concern for others. Let the children lead us to continue to model the love of Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Stan Parker, Pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church Lansing, current President of the Michigan African American Fellowship, and married to Charlotte.