stain on carpet So there’s this stain on the carpet in my living room. Right there in front of the sofa. It’s a blotchy, brown spot where my 3-year-old son, Morgan, spilled some food.

Oh, I’ve tried to clean it. But it’s a stubborn stain. I think it might be there for good. And that’s frustrating.

No, I’m not mad at Morgan. Three-year-olds spill things. That’s part of being a kid. But I do hate that every time I walk into the living room I see that stain. Somehow, it changes the whole room. It makes the whole house seem dirty … unkempt.

But then I’m reminded of the trip I took to the Philippines two years ago, to see the little girl I sponsor. Her house — made of scraps of wood and tin — sits at the bottom of a garbage-strewn ravine.

There’s sewage water trickling down the slope just a few feet from her front door. The entire house could fit in my living room.

And, I should point out, has dirt floors. No carpeting.

She, like many of the millions of children who live in extreme poverty around the world, has never had the luxury of carpeting in her house. Seems silly to consider carpeting a luxury, but it is.

As I looked around my sponsored child’s home, the only food I saw was half a bag of rice and two potatoes.

She explained to me that it was the only food that her family of four had for the remainder of the week.

Her father works construction for less than two dollars a day and her mother stays home to care for her baby brother. There’s not enough food to go around. And there’s certainly not enough to spill.

All of a sudden that stain on my carpet doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Maybe it can remind me of the families that don’t have carpet to stain. Don’t have food to spill.

Maybe it’s a reminder of just how blessed my family has been. And maybe it’s to serve notice too, that God expects more from me. He doesn’t want me fretting over carpet stains. He wants me worried about the poor. He wants me to make sure they have enough to eat.

Wouldn’t it be nice if my sponsored child’s family had enough food to spill?

So there’s this stain on the carpet in my living room. And I’m so glad it’s there.

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    Tim is the Compassion USA Communications Director. His job is to promote Compassion's brand, messaging and cause through media awareness and public relations opportunities.

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  1. Mar 7, 2011
    at 9:27 am

    great perspective. I had a similar experience when we moved into our new (to us) house. The carpet is very light beige in color and shows every piece of lint, every speck of dirt. It annoys me that there is almost a constant need to vaccuum. But then I think of the houses I visited in Peru – dirt floors – and it puts it all back into perspective. I repent of my ingratitude and pettiness and give thanks to God for beige carpet that shows every piece of lint.

  2. Mar 7, 2011
    at 12:12 pm

    That is a wonderful perspective and it is a wonderful too, because it proves that your child is well. :-) Phil. 4:8

  3. Carolyn
    Mar 7, 2011
    at 3:29 pm

    Every time I read in a blog about the conditions our children cope with in other countries I go clean something just because I can.

    • Mar 8, 2011
      at 8:40 pm

      I like that! When your place is perfectly clean you can come clean for me ;-P

  4. Mar 7, 2011
    at 4:09 pm

    What a wonderful reminder, each and every time you see that stain, to be thankful for what you have and to pray for the poor.

  5. Mar 7, 2011
    at 4:50 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. I give thanks every day for a nice home that has heat & AC & power & indoor running water (hot & cold) & bathrooms, etc., etc.
    Thankful we have been blessed to be a blessing to others.

  6. Debbie Beghetto
    Mar 7, 2011
    at 7:55 pm

    Oh my what a great story. I too have stains on my carpet.. I do make a fuss just like you except I don’t have children. MY husband once said to me why worry on such things.Think of the families with children that have shelters have “dirt spot ” don’t seem to notice. They are the ones we ALL should worry about.

  7. Kim Edge
    Mar 7, 2011
    at 9:18 pm

    Tim, our carpets are ratty, the vinyl floors have warped and shrunk, the sofa and loveseat are 16 years old and covered in improvised slipcovers but I don’t care. My girl in Ethiopia has a new metal roof, a new door, and they have a cow and are saving for “needy times” with the family gifts I have given. It seems crazy to me to spend money on home improvements when that money could go so far in Ethiopia.

  8. nicola
    Mar 9, 2011
    at 8:21 am

    great post really reminds you of how god has blessed us. Just one slight concern, what does the sponsor money go to? Would compassion not make sure the family had enough to eat?

    • Mar 10, 2011
      at 10:18 am

      Nicola,
      Sponsor money goes to provide Compassion’s holistic child development for the specific child you sponsor. So, for example, my sponsored child–JenRina–recieves support that provides her with food, an after-school tutor, a safe place to play/study, life-skills classes, even vacation bible school.
      But child sponsorship isn’t modeled toward providing for whole families.
      The good news is, sponsors can give family gifts to help meet the needs of their sponsored child’s family–but that’s outside of their montly sponsorship dollars. In my case, JenRina’s dad typically makes $40-50/month. So when I can give a family gift of just $50, on top of my $38/month child sponsorship, that’s an entire month’s salary for them!
      Compassion also offers CIV’s (Complementary Interventions) that will step in and provide for a family in a dire situation.
      But, to answer your question–child sponsorship dollars go to programs to benefit your specific child, not a family.

  9. Christa Frankel
    Mar 9, 2011
    at 9:48 am

    You can always put a rug in front of your sofa too! I’m an Interior Designer, but it doesn’t take being one to do that! Lol! Great story too! God bless you!

    • Mar 10, 2011
      at 10:21 am

      Christa,
      My wife is an Interior Designer as well! So yeah…we know all the tricks! Ha!

  10. Mar 10, 2011
    at 1:32 am

    I got a car and right after I bought the car, someone shot with a BB gun at the car and I got a whole in one of the fenders. So, I fixed it with Bondo and then I put some primer over it that is kind of a “flat”paint. So, now I got a little square on the side of the car. I could have it fixed but it would be quite a bit of money and the car is not going to rust now. I guess, it’s maybe like the square of Compassion. Maybe if I decide to sell the car, I’ll get it fixed, if it would substantially increase the value of the car.

    • Mar 10, 2011
      at 4:36 pm

      I like that………… “the square of Compassion”!

      • Mar 11, 2011
        at 8:41 pm

        Maybe the Compassion employees all could have a little blue square on their shirts…. :-)

  11. kristi
    Mar 13, 2011
    at 5:25 pm

    well said my friend

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