Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Caring ... So what does that mean?

This poignant photo from India caught my eye some time ago.  It's an encouraging illustration of seeing the needs of others and acting on what you see.

The tough question remains, though.  How does it play out?  How much of my life can I focus on others, whether it's sponsoring some kids or helping a family, or whatever?  How do I balance that?

Poverty elsewhere or here at home can easily consume all the resources I have with little impact on the problem.  The most I could do if I "sold everything and gave to the poor" is help a few for awhile.  What's the right answer?  Should our home budget reflect this as a priority?

And then there's this knife in my heart....

Poverty viewed impersonally isn't painful.  We see it, throw some money at it (or not) and move on.

But when trouble touches someone you know and love... like this little friend of ours from western Africa ... it's a heart stirring that won't be stilled until you somehow address the problem. It's personal; it's not the same as seeing it on a TV commercial for poor kids. 

We and our friends have more than 50 kids and their families within personal reach now; we know some of the parents pretty well after a few years of being friends.  We're working with them, hoping to better equip them for life, and hoping to learn from them; there's so much that we don't yet understand.  We both live in a broken world.

So here we are, struggling to grow up and be wise enough to be useful.  To our fellow man, of course, but mostly to God himself.  He cares so much more deeply than I.  I wonder what he'd do in our shoes.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  :)  Have you picked your path yet?  Radical, boring, typical westerner, sacrificial weirdo; got the guts to be different than the norm?

We all know something's wrong.
At first I thought it was just me. Then I stood before twenty thousand Christian college students and asked, "How many of you have read the New Testament and wondered if we in the church are missing it?" When almost every hand went up, I felt comforted. At least I'm not crazy.
~Francis Chan