The other night, as I was tucking my daughter in for the 7th time that evening, Malia looked up at me and asked, “Why do some people not have clean water?” The reason she asked is that lately Malia has forsaken children’s church and opted for “big church,” and she’s heard about our Living Water project and the fact that every 15 seconds a child dies from not having clean drinking water, and that what the U.S. spends on ice cream in one year could give the entire world clean water…forever!
At first, I was surprised that she had been paying that close attention, and was pleased that she asked about it. So, I told her that America had been tremendously blessed with resources and for a lot of reasons that no single person could fully articulate, our country had many great things but some other countries weren’t as fortunate. She responded, by telling me that she hoped those people got some clean water and that she was thankful for her water because you need water to make juice. She also said she was thankful for milk.
Malia is inheriting a different faith that I did. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the faith I received. The faith that thoughtful, faithful people passed on to me. I’m thankful for memory verses, lessons on the importance of going to church, learning about baptism and even singing in four part harmony. But Malia is learning that the when the baton of faith is passed on to you it comes with some responsibilities.
Responsibilities to love God AND love your neighbor. I love the fact that when she realizes that she has two of something, she wants to find someone to give one to. And I love that she loves to bake cookies and make brownies and take them to the elderly. She has instincts for others, and is learning that Jesus died so that we would not longer live for ourselves, but live for Jesus who died for us (2 Cor 5.15).
I have no illusions that Malia will have faith struggles and tests during her life. She may even come to reject some things her mother and I believe deeply, but I’m glad she is where she is now.
I’m glad, unlike so many other people I know, when she hears that there are kids going blind and dying from lack of clean water, she cares.