Because of his job my son had the drudgery of having to go to San Francisco for the week. (Yes, that is said with much jealously and sarcasm!) What an enjoyable time I am having in Baton Rouge visiting “my girls.” Madison Benton knows that she is my favorite girl in the whole wide world.
It has been a wonderful experience to watch the daily schedule of my daughter-in-law Alica. Alica is a first-grade teacher whose day begins very early. By 6:00 each morning, Alica has showered and gotten dressed. She heads downstairs to eat a quick breakfast, and get things together for the day. Then she heads upstairs to awaken Madison and “Olivia” at 6:20. By 6:40, it’s out the door for a long day.
For reasons we will never know, God only blessed Michael and Alica with one biological child. They chose to open their home to children that needed a safe, loving environment which shields them from cares and pain that should not be on their shoulders.
“Olivia” is a foster child who has lived with Michael and Alica on several occasions. I won’t go into all the reasons why Olivia has been removed from her home. This time she has been here for several months, and it appears she will be here for a while. Olivia is not a handful. She is two handfuls with some spilling over!
Several months ago, Michael knew about this trip to San Francisco. Originally, Alica planned to go with him for five days of enjoyment and fun. That would have required that Olivia be in respite care. Alica has had to make those arrangements a few times, but feels Olivia’s progress takes a hit; therefore Alica sacrifices her desires for the benefit of Olivia. My heart has been moved by the love and care that Alica has for this child. It’s all about touching Olivia’s life. It’s about sacrificing for the good of a wounded human. It’s about going the extra mile.
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him two.” – Matthew 5:41. The word “compel” is the idea of “a readiness and willingness to submit to inconvenience.”
When did someone go the extra mile for you? When did someone go “above and beyond” what was expected in order to help you, welcome you, show you hospitality, comfort, or love? Who cared enough to help you on your way?
It is easy to look at people who require that extra mile, and let out a big sigh! The extra mile means sacrifice of my own desires and ease of schedule. Two questions have bombarded my mind while I have been here. Whose life have I changed because of my love and patience? Whose life will I change because of walking the extra mile?
I have no crystal ball to see where Olivia will be in twenty years, but this I know, her opportunity of an abundant life has increased because someone was willing to go the extra mile.