Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. For as long as I can remember, I’ve made a wish on the first star I see at night. This week, I will make a wish for a ten-year-old boy who lives in a small village in Uganda.
When I was a child, my wishes were those of a child. As I got older, they became less self-centered and foolish. Eventually, most of my wishes turned to prayers for the health and happiness of the people I love. After my children went out on their own, I found it comforting to know they might look up in the sky and wish upon the very same star as I.
Several years ago, my husband and I began sponsoring a little boy named Pascal through Compassion International, a humanitarian aid organization. I love knowing he, too, is under the same blanket of stars.
Pascal lives with his brothers, sisters, and mother, who has been ill for some time. His home has been described as a small shelter cobbled together with discarded materials. Fortunately, Pascal and many of the children in his village are able to attend a church-sponsored school.
I don’t know if Pascal understands he lives in poverty. If so, his smiling school photos and drawings of himself playing soccer, laughing with friends, and helping his mother belie the fact. When I find myself wishing for material things or for even more ease in my life, I think of Pascal and the three billion people who live in poverty on our planet.
There’s a quote I turn to when my life seems inadequate, when advertisements, HGTV, and social media make me feel small and envious. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself. Tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches. For to the creator, there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.”
Rilke’s words shame me. I keep the quote close at hand, just in case I need to snap out of it.
I sent a birthday card to Pascal, which an interpreter will help him read. I asked him to look up at the night sky. “Remember that you and I are on the same planet, under the same sky, looking up at the same stars,” I wrote. “I am making a special wish upon one of those stars for your birthday and always.”
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. §
More about Compassion International ~ When you sponsor a child through Compassion International, you become the single sponsor of a specific child. You get updated pictures and profiles of your child and can exchange letters. Your monthly donation of $38, as well as birthday and Christmas gifts, can be automatically withdrawn from your bank account. (Trust me, you won’t even miss it.) Your donations help your child’s local church provide medical care, education, nutritious meals, and other needs. More importantly, through your sponsorship, children like Pascal receive hope and love. To find out more about sponsoring a child through Compassion International, go to http://www.compassion.com/Child/Sponsorship.