This is the third year that Camilla and I are filling shoeboxes with gifts for children in developing countries. We fill one box for a little girl close to Camilla’s age and one box for a little boy close to Adrian’s age. At the store when we bought the gifts, Adrian clung to the “woccer ball” with a vice grip, prompting me to pack the boxes while he was napping. I guess I can’t expect a two-year-old to understand charity to this extent. When she was three and four, Camilla had a hard time letting go of the fun treasures she picked out. This year, though, it’s exciting to see her start to understand that the children receiving these gifts need them much more than she does.
As we wrapped the boxes today, she said, “These kids might be sad now because they don’t have anything, but they’ll be happy when they get the shoeboxes.”
What a perfect opportunity to discuss what makes us truly happy. Her assessment? Food and toys give you happiness. So we talked about how lots of people find joy even though they have nothing and that you can be happy in any situation as long as you trust in Jesus.
I’m not sure it registered. She’s only five. But just as I’ve seen her go from selfishly holding onto the princess coloring book to joyfully placing it in the shoebox with the other gifts, I hope and pray she grows to understand the joy that comes from knowing Him and has nothing to do with material things.
And here’s a video in case you wanted to learn more about packing a shoebox. It’s the middle of drop-off week already, so you’ll have to get crackin’ if you want to do it this year!