For most of my life I would sit in the pew and listen to pleas for some cause or another. The television shows that I enjoyed watching had long commercial breaks showing hungry children and opportunities for helping someone in need. I would tune it out, change the channel…it made me uncomfortable. It’s not like I could help anyone, I didn’t have any money. And aren’t these commercials and speeches just a money grab for a large organization? It was easy to forget it all and think that someone else will take care of it. I didn’t need to make it my problem.
Now I am on the other side of the equation, seeing first hand the endless opportunities to help. Now I can’t change the channel. And there are days when I wish I could. It still makes me uncomfortable, and I still don’t have the money. Or do I? Don’t I have just enough to help a little? Isn’t that all I need to do? Didn’t the widow in the Bible just give her 10 cents? Jesus isn’t asking us to come up with millions of dollars for a big cause! He just wants an open heart and the willingness to be used.
There is no difference between you and me. Just the geography. There are people in need all over this world. Some of them need money. Some of them just need a hug, showing them that they are loved and not forgotten in this season of giving.
What can we give? Will it be a sacrifice? I hope it is, because if it isn’t a bit of a sacrifice, then maybe it isn’t enough. Sometimes, going without ourselves can help us appreciate what it is that another needs. This time last year I had the opportunity to see my children hungry…and I didn’t have anything to give them. I was blessed enough to have the money to buy the food…but due to our circumstances, I couldn’t provide it for them. It was a difficult time, but a valuable one. I can’t imagine being a mother who can’t give her children what they need. It would kill me.
Look around your neighborhood, see the hunger…be it physical or spiritual. If giving directly makes you uncomfortable, donate to the food bank at the grocery store. Maybe you could take someone lonely out for a coffee date. Let’s open up our hearts and imaginations. What can we do? Something is better than nothing. Don’t think that you can leave it for someone else to do…what if everyone thought the same way?
Matthew 25:34-40… “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’