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Monday, November 07, 2005

Helping the one

I was driving to work this morning and saw a man digging in the garbage at the shell station at the corner of Columbia and Capital.

All kinds of thoughts began to run through my mind. I had feelings of sympathy and guilt. I began to feel horrible about whining in my own mind about some of my own circumstances.

Yesterday I read that we have around 5% of the world's population in America, but we use 50% of the world's resources.

How should we feel about that?

Our missions teams who come back from overseas inevitably say, "we are so blessed here in America, the world doesn't have much."

And that is very, very true.

Here's the conclusion I have come to: I am not to feel guilty for what I DO have, but I am to be responsible for what others do NOT have.

We can't on our own help everybody.

So what do we do?

We help the one.

I can't help everybody, but I can help one.

Every day, I can seek out one person that I might be able to help.

Maybe it's by buying them some milk at the store.

Maybe it's by saying a prayer.

Maybe it's by giving to a charity of my choice.

Maybe it's by inviting someone to church.

Maybe it's by listening.

The key is not to verbalize that the world needs help and do nothing. But to verbalize that the world needs help and do something, anything, at least once a day.


Jon said...

Having lived in or visited a number of Latin American countries, I can tell you that we are truly blessed by what we have. In fact, we would probably be considered blessed by most of the world if we had half of what we have now. Not that I'm saying that you should give up half of what you have but, until you have seen some of these living conditions or poverty on a grand scale, sometimes you can't begin to imagine what people go through.

Pastor Dale was sharing a story with me not too long ago about a missionary who had to spend three-four hours a day just getting drinkable water for himself. One-sixth of his day just to get water! Man, do we have it good! We can get it from the tap, from the bottle, by the gallon, at the cooler or the fountain...and this guy spends three-four hours lugging it up the mountain from the river and boiling it just to be able to get a drink!

A while ago, I read a newspaper story where a mother took her entire family (two boys and two girls, I think I remember) and they lived for a weekend in the conditions that you see homeless people in...I mean, she didn't choose the summer either, she had them out in the winter, living on the streets and sleeping in cardboard boxes. That drove the lesson home to her kids and they started (and still operate) a charity collection and distribution center for clothes and goods to get out to the homeless population of their city. And they work at the soup kitchens and shelters in their town. She (the mother) wanted to impact her children with what others have to go through just to survive in our country...what a blessed woman.

There are times all of us think that we have it rough...I know that I do occasionally...but, it takes just one thought of someone worse off than me to restore my appreciation for my God-given life. Knowing the Savior allows me to survive anything...if I will but put my trust in Him. Please keep all of these unfortunate people in your prayers daily...our country has so, so much that we should be able to lift up the world with a united effort. I pray that, one day, enough people see that.

I know that one day, I will experience a world where there is no want, no need, no sorrow, no tears, no worry! Jesus, come soon! I love you.

God bless and keep you. Help someone today in word or deed. Provide a lift for your fellow human being.


Teresa O. said...

It is so easy to hand someone money or a check, but that is not always the answer. We are trying to teach our children when the Lord guides you to give to the homeless person on the street, they then become accountable for how they spend it. God expects me to be obedient, however he asks me to give. The Lord may ask me to give of my time (which is precious and few) or my money (which is fewer) or simply take a moment to pray for someone he has laid on my heart and mind. Obedience is the key I believe so that we don't live feeling guilty all the time. There are too many needs for me to meet. It goes back to the story of the "star fish." Just helping one by one will make a difference to that person on that day.

We shouldn't have to leave our country to know how blessed we are in America. There are poor cities in America - Detroit now labeled the #1 city in poverty in the nation. There are people in our own "backyard" whom we should help and as Christians, we do have a responsibility to give a glass of water, clothe them (just like Pastor's message this month in the Community Connection). It is not complicated, however, we (me included) feel we need systems in place first to meet the needs of those around us. Live the words of Jesus on a daily basis and we will all accomplish more than just talking about the issues.