My passion and calling in the last few years has been "The Least of These"--working with children. What could be more wonderful than having a sweet cherub sitting at your feet soaking in the wisdom you impart. I ONLY WISH!
The children come from an unstable world with parents who are struggling so what did I expect? At the end of the day, their little bodies are stained with the ravages of the day. Noses running--dirt caked on them--clothing with remnant's of the day splattered over them--shoes untied--and spirits dirtied by all the world has thrown at them--it can be less than a pleasing experience for those with refined senses.
My nose is a finely trained sensory instrument. I can detect the slightest aroma when entering a room and sometimes I am sent fleeing out the door for a breath of fresh air. After the long day--these sweet children have a tendency--exactly like our own children--to have the smell of the day hanging like a cloud around them. Putting on my stiff upper lip, I have discovered over the course of our time together---it dissipates or perhaps I am focusing on the child and not the other.
This past week as my little charged looked at me with angelic eyes and gave me the detailed description of throwing up on the bus, I am certain my eyes became the size of saucers. I left with fear of what disease I might have come in contact with. After getting over my gagging and careful analysis of every ache and pain I might be experiencing, I remembered why I was at the shelter. Perhaps before I grab my wash cloth and clean up the child, I should take a scrub brush to my own lack of compassion. Shame on me for looking at the exterior and forgetting the little hearts I am blessed to teach.
So before you enter the mission field He is calling you to, know it can be smelly, dirty, and down right disgusting on the outside, but one of the greatest blessings you will ever receive. As you serve and work, the not so pleasant becomes at most a mere distraction and your heart will reek of the sweet aroma of service and love for those you are blessed to serve.