When my kids were gearing up for Christmas and they were each so excited about the potential goodies Santa (and Mom & Dad) were planning on getting them, they kept asking me what I wanted. I am one of those horrible people who never knows what they want (my poor family) so since I could come up with nothing better, I kept responding saying “World Peace”. If nothing else – always revert to Miss USA answers. Very PC and might earn you points! (and even a sparkly crown!)
Little did I know I would read a book that would cause me to read more & learn more and thus make that patsy little answer ring ironically true!
I started searching local amnesty groups to find out WHAT was going on. Congo was my primary thought, but common sense should have made me realize that is only one of many hurting countries in our world. My heart broke as I read of the child sex trade, slavery, women oppression and a limitless gamut of other horrific realities for people. People are hungry, ill, living life in fear of what tomorrow may bring. Realities I’ve just never had to face in my tiny little corner of the globe.
Again, I did not just crawl out from under a rock, I have been aware of the ugliness our world contains, but generally I just have chosen to focus on the happy stuff. Wishing I could share the innocence of my own kids in their ignorance of wanting the latest cool toy for Christmas. Also, when I thought about it, my thoughts would always drift over to thinking what difference could I really make anyway? Tsk tsk, it is all so sad, isn’t it?
So, as my heart was breaking, I had a massive sense of overwhelming sadness. How can I help? There is so much? What can anyone really do?
I am someone who prays. And along my life journey, I tend to consult a higher power especially when I am uncertain or confused. I have been praying for an opportunity to be used. Not just doing the local little things to support my local church (not knocking that, just not wanting to stop there). And I do know every excuse to not do anything at all! Believe me, I’m full of them!
Before our big move to the big city this past fall, I was part of a little church with a dynamic minister. The 4 years I was there, he would go on and on about social justice. That the calling of Christ is in essence to go out and love people who need love. Care for people who need care. Stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves. This is what Jesus did, right?
As I was considering all the different needs I was reading about and all the great organizations already in existence working hard – yet so often they are so underequipped to really do it well. I realized I am not going to save the world today. I am not able to solve world hunger, take in every hurting orphan or rescue every person who has been knocked down. But I’m not going to feel bad about that. If I do, it will consume me and I will become completely useless.
This same pastor used to say “Take a look around and see where God is already at work, then join up!” Makes sense, right?
So, I picked 1 little corner of the world – far away from my own. I am trying to learn what I can learn and working to do what I can do to make a difference for that place.