Last week a little girl from our friend’s church was killed in a tragic car accident in the Seattle area. Her name was Rachel Beckwith and just before she passed, it was her 9th birthday. Instead of gifts and parties, she asked her friends and family to help her reach her goal of raising $300 to help dig wells in Africa for thirsty, dying children. She fell short and “only” raised $220. As she lay in the hospital dying, her fundraising website was reinstated and the remaining $80 was raised to help fulfill her dream.
But then a miracle began. When I clicked the give button, I watched in amazement as it rolled to about $10,000 given! Astounding! Maybe Rachel would get to $30,000 instead of $300. That was about a week ago. Her story hit Facebook, twitter, local news, national news, and international news. People began to give from every continent and as I write this, her charity page is looming close to $700,000. I have no doubt that it will soar pass $1,000,000 and continue climbing over the next few weeks.
As I’ve read the comments from givers and have followed the story, it is as if the entire world has joined together to say, “We know it’s not fair to lose a child, but we want you to know that we care. We care about Rachel and we care about kids in Africa.” So many tragedies unfold everyday and it is as if God is using Rachel’s life to remind everyone in the midst of sadness that the world is not an awful place. That people from every language, religion, and perspective all have a common unity in love.
I have cried many tears in awe of what God is doing through this little girl, mostly because my own 7 year old daughter shares her giving spirit. No amount of money makes it “worth it” or easier to say goodbye to a child, but it shouts loud and clear that our lives matter and specifically, Rachel mattered.
This little girl’s impact will literally change a nation and the best part of it all…it wasn’t done by one big gift, but by a whole lot of people doing a small part out of love. Sometimes we think we can’t make a difference by what’s in our hands, but Rachel shattered that myth. Her life’s testimony is, “Do what you can.” And so do it. Do it now. Give to Rachel, give to your church, give to another cause you believe in, but don’t let another day go by meeting your own needs and not doing anything about someone elses. Love demands sacrifice. Thank you, Rachel, for teaching us all that valuable lesson.