If we could draw out the inner workings of our hearts, not the vessels and valves that literally make up it, but the pathways and illustrations that make up our soul, I wonder what it might look like. It would certainly be different for each one of us. Some of us might use more blue than red, some might outline their heart in gold, some might draw out what looks like a giant puzzle. One piece fitting into another, into another, into another. I tend to think my heart would look like this drawing.
Now some of you are thinking I am an outstanding artist, clearly. But this is not my artwork. This picture belongs to an eight-year-old girl who has kidnapped my heart with her pictures and words and that is why I have given her the chance to draw it.
Her name is Joselin Yohana Martinez. She is eight-years-old and was born on the birthday of my late grandmother. She adores drawing and playing soccer. To help around the house she does the dishes and sweeps. She has six brothers and sisters and dreams of one day being a secretary. She loves the color green.
Perhaps that is why I made the decision to sponsor her, because she is no different than I am. I grew up with virtually the same inner weaving, the same passion and vibrant love for life that is evident in any child. The difference is that I had more growing up, and I still have more and so I give to her.
I began sponsoring Joselin when she was six, in the summer of 2007. I received a lot of people asking why I would pay $30 a month for a child, to them it seemed like a lot of money. But $30 could very easily be spent on a month at the gym or a new pair of jeans and so I just choose to put the money in the hands of a little girl so that she can have an education, food and the necessities she needs to be happy.
And she is happy but maybe not happy by the standards that we sometimes tend to measure. She does not have a family car. She does not own the latest trends in clothing. She doesn't get Burger King or Happy Meals or ride around on the latest scooter or play with the newest fads in toys. But She Sings. She Dances. She Laughs. She Loves. She Believes in God. She Shares. She Creates. She Lives. (And she wears a pair of pretty stellar Hello Kitty socks).
Maybe we should all take a lesson from her and allow our hearts to be traced and drawn by the simplicities in our lives. Strip us of all that we have and we are exactly the same as the people of El Salvador, the people of Haiti, the people all over this world who have been deemed as "less."
Now imagine for a moment that you were to lose everything-- the car, the money, the house and the job-- what would you be left with? Would that still make you happy? Would you still have reason to rejoice? If the answer is no then maybe there is something to be thought about.
Joselin proves to me every single day that life is beautiful and vivacious and fresh, just like her pictures. She shows me that our existence is not even close to being about a paycheck or a cup of expensive coffee in our hands. Life is about filling our souls with colors- green hues of family, blue hues of friendship, purple polka dots of independence, orange outlines of self-love, yellow stripes of gratitude and red shades of romance- and so that is why she holds my heart for me. Because she can draw it better.
What does the drawing of your heart look like?
PS. To those who are interested, I sponsor Joselin through World Vision, a credible international Christian relief organization that is stationed on six continents. I am happy to speak to anyone about sponsoring a child.