Sunday, October 3, 2010
Go Ask Do: A Guest Post from Mom
I’m home from my Haitian trip to visit Ben and Katie. It was a quick opportunity to be part of their
world for a few days. And it was six days that may have permanently changed the ways I see fairness.
I’ve always known that life isn’t fair. It was the mantra at my house growing up. But all my life I’ve struggled with answers to questions on equality: Why do I have more than other people? Why does God allow some people to struggle for basic survival and some people to have comfortable lives? What am I called to do with my resources? How much “giving away” is enough? How much “keeping” is enough?
Unfortunately I don’t have the complete answers to these questions, but I do know that God has a plan for those of us who have something….anything…..we can share. Here’s what I think it looks like:
We need to step outside our comfort zone and go to where the less fortunate live. It’s too easy to look the other way and not think about the poor and the hungry. Honestly, I don’t really like to think about poverty. It makes my heart hurt. And frankly it’s a lot easier for me to minister to people in my neighborhood. They look like me, think like me and act like me. I also know it’s not possible, or practical, for all of us to go to Uganda, the Sudan or Haiti on a mission trip…but we can all go into the poor areas of our city and see what the needs are. Once there is a face on poverty, once you’ve seen the hardships and the difficulty some people live with, it changes the way you view your resources.
It’s hard to know what God wants us to do in response to the poor. Sometimes it is downright paralyzing because there are just so many things you COULD do. Where do I volunteer my time? Where should I contribute my money? With so many choices….and the desire to be a good steward of your resources…it’s easy to put it off or decide to do nothing. Ask God for direction. Ask him to tell you specifically what he’d like your response to be. Then keep your eyes and your mind open for his direction.
Here’s the hard part….do what He asks. I firmly believe that when we ask God to show us what to do, He will provide opportunities. But then we have a responsibility as Christians to act on those opportunities. And it may require sacrifice. It may involve rearranging my purchases so that I have a little bit less….so that someone else I don’t even know can have a little bit more. And I may have to ignore the part of my brain that tells me I deserve to have things because I’ve worked hard for them. The bible reminds me that I am to love my neighbor as myself….I am to take care of the poor and the widowed…..and that where my treasure is; there will be my heart also. It’s not my stuff that is sinful….it’s the priority I place on my stuff.
I read a study recently that had this quote on the amount of food our planet grows:
“If all foods are considered together, enough is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day. That includes two and half pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs.”
So it’s not a matter of scarcity….it’s a matter of distribution…..of sharing. No one on the planet should have to go to bed hungry……or worse, die of starvation…..simply because I’m not willing to share
my resources. I guess the big question remains…..will I do it? Or will I simply settle back into my comfortable life and assume someone else will do it for me?