My husband and I are in tighter financial times that we’ve ever been, and it has nothing to do with the current crisis on Wall Street. (On a side note, don’t you find it interesting that the world’s economies are in a tailspin over something that at its core is imaginary and arbitrary?) Just the fact that we have a combination of activities going on this week that include eating out, babysitters, and ticket costs is causing me to stress out.
And yet, compared to over half of the rest of the world, I am WEALTHY. I don’t know where you are financially as you read this post, but given where most of my readers come from geographically, in view of the whole world, you are wealthy too. Crazy what a little perspective does, isn’t it? We so quickly take for granted that we have a roof over our heads, food on our tables – even if it’s meager, water that is pumped into our houses, and clean, dry clothes. Friends, that is a blessing because not everyone in the world has that. In fact, the majority do not have all of those things. Ugh! That causes a knot in my stomach just thinking about it.
All over the web, I’m sure you’re hearing about Blog Action Day 2008. The focus this year is on poverty. The Bible indicates that the poor will always be with us. I don’t think that means we don’t still fight to eradicate it. Debts can be canceled, wealth can be redistributed, humanitarian efforts can be increased . . . As human beings, we should care that other humans are suffering in this world. As Christians, we are to defend the defenseless, take care of the widows and orphans, and be a light in this dark world; we are commanded to love one another.
And what saddens me is that Christians are not the trailblazers in humanitarian efforts*. We get sidelined by “defending” our faith and ensuring our specific theology is protected. We get divided by denominations and non-essential issues. Although well-intentioned, we spend our energy and our focus on the wrong efforts.
So, friends, I encourage you to do one thing to make a difference. One person with one idea can impact the world. You might not see the effect in your lifetime, but I can guarantee that no one in the world will benefit if you do nothing. What you do doesn’t have to be huge to you, but it might be huge for someone else. Remember the story about the starfish?
The next time you sit down for a meal at the table, get into a warm shower, climb into your bed, or relax on the couch in front of the television, say a quick prayer of thanks to the Father and ask him what you can do to make a difference.
*I don’t mean to invalidate the amazing work that many Christian organizations are doing. There are indeed many out there.