When our daughter Greta was little (she’s the one in the photo with the little girl dressed in a princess dress), I would tuck her in at night, give her a kiss and remind her that she is a princess. Many little girls want to be princesses at some point. They don pretty dresses and twirl and pretend to be princesses like they hear about in fairy tales. I wanted Greta to know that she ALREADY was a princess – a child of the King of Kings. Now what does this have to do with anything? Stay with me…
The 11th annual Walk for Water took place this past Saturday in our hometown of Zeeland, MI. As you may or may not know, Greta, now 18, was instrumental in starting the 1st Walk for Water when she was 7 going on 8 years old. (Read more about the full story here). Each year as I hear her speak to kick-off the walk, and watch as 100’s follow her and her friends as they lead the walk, I reminisce about that first walk and the many more that have followed. I fully take in the moment and feel connected to the Mother Mary as I “ponder all these things in my heart”. My princess…God’s princess.
This year, my heart swelled as a little 6-year-old girl named Elena, dressed in a princess dress, came up to Greta to get her photo taken with her. This little powerhouse wanted Greta to have a copy of her originally written and illustrated book “The Wotr Prinsos” (The Water Princess). In it, Elena beautifully writes of “Elena the Africin Prinsos” (African Princess) and her daily life of walking 6 miles to get water and then having to cook the water so she can drink it safely. Elena, in speaking of this, wrote “It’s not fair.”
She’s six. Know what she did? She set out to raise $100 to help (that amount buys a water filter that can sustain a family for 10 years!). She gave her allowance for 2 months. She gave her tooth fairy money. She asked others to join her in her effort and she crushed it, raising over $500! I couldn’t help but smile. Did I mention that she’s six?? Greta was seven. She declared “That’s not fair!” many years ago. They both did something about it.
When will we as adults stop making it so complicated and follow their lead? It really isn’t as complicated as we make it. I myself sometimes can easily get bogged down by the whole of the problem…whatever problem there may be…lack of clean water, homelessness, the enormous unequal distribution of the world’s resources and money…I can get so wrapped up in the problem, that I forget that God does the work and I just need to join Him. To take a small step forward. I don’t have to have all the answers, all the information, all the details worked out, or even understand the fullness of the issues… I JUST NEED TO TAKE A STEP. Like Greta. Like Elena. As my husband pointed out, “We need more Wotr Prinsos like them!” Yep. Agreed. They are precious prinsos of the King of Kings who have set out to right an injustice to help other princesses…Africin (African) or otherwise. And they get it. I pray that we will too. And follow their lead in simply taking a step into helping God redeem His world.
Note: Please do not get upset and think that I have oversimplified such large, complicated issues of our world. Of course, as adults we understand much more about the issues. We understand that there is no simple solution. Yet, I am simply pointing out the fact that I believe that adults, myself included at times, tend to overcomplicate and therefore we freeze and take no action at all…seeing these situations as too desperate, too large, too (fill in the blank)… and we forget that nothing is too anything for our God!
Known as the leaders of Team Z (their family of five), Mel and Ed Zwyghuizen are passionate about teaching, guiding, and leading people to live out God’s story in their lives through loving, encouraging, and blessing others both near and far. Ed is the owner of Gen 1 Architectural Group, a West Michigan-based architectural firm, and Mel is a veteran high school and college educator. Both enjoy every opportunity God provides them to speak about their concept of “intentional parenting,” the missional family and to partner with family-oriented missions. Find the original blog post on their website.