By Jackie Hardy
I am a closet antique china collector. Well, I was a closet antique china collector, but I suppose the secret is out. I have several sets of fine china that belonged to my grandmothers and other ancestral relatives, as well as those pieces that I have picked up along the way.
It was important to me that my children, even when they were small, learned to appreciate the heritage of those pieces, so I often set the table for Sunday lunch using them as my children were growing up. It was at the Sunday dinner table that I was able to tell them stories of our family history and teach them the meaning of the word fragile. Sure, there are chips and cracks that have happened but the value for me is not determined by the perfection of the dish but in the legacy of our family.
The children who find their way to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes are much like those dishes – fragile, with a story that is uniquely theirs. Some of them may show obvious chips or cracks while others have had constant wear and tear that doesn’t always show at first sight.
How can we help them tell their story? How do we help them take their shattered dreams and begin to dream again? How do we demonstrate the value of each one? When I would set the Sunday dinner table, I began with a table cloth that covered the entire table and set the tone for the remainder of the pieces. I would add dishes and stemware until the table was just what I thought my family would enjoy.
As supporters of the ministry of the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, we begin our support by covering them in prayer, the children and the families from which they came, as well as the staff. That’s something all of us can do. As we pray, God often prompts us to add other pieces of support in the form of volunteering, giving of tangible gifts for the residents, and in our financial support. In these next few weeks, when setting your own tables for family gatherings, I encourage you to consider praying with your family for the children who aren’t with their own families during these days. What financial support can you offer so that every child, no matter the cracks, chips, or shattered dreams, is valued for the treasure he/she is?
Jackie Hardy serves as president for WMU Georgia.