“We must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words”
1 John 3:18 GW
I have been told the best expression of love is time. When Chelsea was young she would often say to me (more often than I would like) “Mama, listen to me with your eyes.” You see, I prided myself on being multi-tasker and accomplishing more than a normal person would complete. Yet, I come to realize multi-tasking is not always the best especially when someone needs your undivided attention.
Recently, I was at the local grocery store when I heard the words, “Mrs. Ham” my first thought was my mother in-law, then the words were said louder, “Mrs. Alvarez Ham”. Now, that is me - so I turn around and saw a woman in her early 30’s with three kids in tow. “Do you recognize me? How is Mr. Ham? Are you still living in the area? How is your little daughter?” The barrage of questions came out of her mouth. “Mr. Ham is good. Yes, we still live in Ventura. Chelsea is now 25 and is a hairstylist at a local salon.
While answering her questions, my mind raced trying to remember, how did I know this young woman? That is when she said, “I was one of the kids in your groups at Oxnard High School’s Opportunity Class. Now, do you remember?” “Yes”, I responded, “your name is Sonya, right?” With a big smile she said, “Yes, you called us your knuckleheads! I bet you have worked with a lot of us. Mrs. Ham, you and your husband made a difference in my life. You were probably the first adults that genuinely listened to us – thank you. I’m trying to do that with these three – it’s hard.” “Oh, I know” I responded and shared the comment that Chelsea would say to me.
I have come to realize the greatest gift that we can give anyone is our time. It’s the most precious and desired gift because it’s our time in our lives. Time is our most precious commodity. Rick Warren once said, “Every time you give someone your time, you are giving that person a portion of your life that you will never get back.”
I was reminded the simple truth that came out of a three year-old, “Mama, listen to me with your eyes.” Yes, out of the mouths of babes. Thank you Chelsea and Sonya for your gentle reminders of why we at City Impact serve in our community. Please know that your continued financial support and prayers makes a difference.
With listening eyes and ears,
Betty Alvarez Ham