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Turning your kids into radicals at a young age

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Sarae Martin emailed me the following story that just happened to her. As I pulled into McDonalds, I saw a pile of suitcases, obviously those of a homeless person. My thought was, “where will they go tonight when McDonald’s closes?” I looked up and there in the window with more suitcases w…
By Seth Barnes

Sarae Martin emailed me the following story that just happened to her.

homelessAs I pulled into McDonalds, I saw a pile of suitcases, obviously those of a homeless person. My thought was, “where will they go tonight when McDonald’s closes?” I looked up and there in the window with more suitcases was a woman in her 60’s, homeless. I thought to myself, “I have no money to give her. But how can I be radical and reach out to someone who could potentially be trapped in this cold?”

So I decided to be radical, and I marched right up to the woman and asked her if she had a place to go tonight. She replied that she needed to get to the bus station at 9:00 PM (it was 7:00 at this point) in order to go pay a bill. But she had no way to get herself and her luggage to the bus station in this cold. I asked her if I could give her a ride. Her reply was that she couldn’t go this early because the station is outside. I asked her where she had to go.

She replied “South Bend.” South Bend is only 20 minutes from where we were at. So I told her I would drive her 20 minutes the opposite way so she could save her bus fare for something else. She was shocked; I was shocked.

I loaded my car with 8 pieces of luggage and drove her to South Bend. On the way there she asked if she could pay me gas money. I told her “no, I don’t have any money to give you, but I have a full tank of gas.” I prayed for her and left.

For me, that was radical living. It was me laying aside my agendas, my tasks and putting someone else’s life before mine. That night it could have even been a life saving thing with the bitter cold. I decided I was going to start living like a radical. And I had this conversation with my kids about it:

Garrett (5)-“What does radical mean?”

“It means doing things that the world thinks is crazy.”

Garrett- “What could I do at school that would be radical?”

“Being friends with the kid no one likes. When everyone else is asking why you would even think to be his friend, you make a choice to befriend him.”

Garrett- “I want to be radical.”

He and I began a 20 minute conversation about being radical for Christ. He even came home, found his dad napping, climbed in bed next to him, put his arm around him and said, “Dad do you know what it means to be radical?”

This is now a part of his lingo. He loved the story about the guy on the mountain. He even related it to the current favorite movie,
Cars. After thinking about being radical he said, “Mom, in the movie Cars, when Lightning McQueen goes back and helps The King, and doesn’t win the Piston Cup, is that being radical?”

“Yes buddy, you got it! He put aside his greatest goal to save the heart of one who had been injured.”

“If Chick had given the piston cup back to Lightning, would that have been radical?”

YES, YES, YES…this kid got it! At 5 and 6 my kids can be radical too. I even gave them permission to seek out radical things to do and that I would help them live that way.

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