I’m sorry it has been so long. Life has a way of happening and pulling me in by the shoelaces, tripping and stumbling into my real life. I’ve been laughing and crying a lot these days, sometimes in the same conversation, often in the same day. It’s been such a mix of the bitter and the sweet, the gentle and the fiery.
During the last week, I’ve been finding a lot of good reads, including a brand new discovery – SheLoves Magazine. It’s really a gem.
Ann’s words about the power of Compassion and meeting her own sponsored child really got me thinking about sponsoring a child. Like, really considering it. And then I thought for ten seconds about the fact that I’m leaving for college in less than two months, and working three jobs right now to save money for this brand new chapter, and I thought mmm, better not.
And it got me thinking. It got me thinking about how we think that the appropriate response to inspiration is to do exactly what inspired us in the first place, but maybe it’s not. Maybe being inspired by Ann’s journey in Africa should inspire me to love better here, instead of feeling guilty for the incredibly blessed life I have been able to live. Maybe the point isn’t to instill guilt that motivates, but to simply inspire a desire to do something with our lives.
No matter where that is.
No matter how affluent the people are.
Aren’t we all sick with sadness?
Don’t we all feel homeless sometimes, with no one to turn to?
Aren’t we all starving for grace?
And I read Ann’s words, and I see the dark-skinned faces with the enormous eyes and the brilliant smiles and I think they are not the poor ones, we are. Because they understand something that we are constantly forgetting.
Social status and financial power and always looking for things to get do not make us better. Or happier. Or live fuller lives.
Maybe rather than giving money to soothe our consciences, we should address the cavern inside of us: the one that giving a few bucks is not going to fill. The one that leaves us feeling sad and lonely at the end of the day. The one that we don’t know how to fill, so we fill it with things rather than relationships. Maybe money is useless without love, no matter how well-meaning the dollars might be. Maybe money is completely powerless on its own, and they need our love and our faith in them more than they need empty buildings.
And maybe giving money is a calling for some of us, but maybe it’s not a permanent solution for the emptiness in any of us.
We, the blessed and wealthy, we’re dying too. And we’re dying of a disease that is much more deadly than dirty water or lack of food. We’re dying of apathy and loneliness and disengagement, and those things may take generations to cure. And I don’t mean to take away the importance of clean water or food even remotely, because those things save lives every day. But maybe it’s not something we’re all called to doing. Maybe being part of a mission means meeting the people down your street. Maybe being part of a mission is asking someone if they’re okay, and not letting them say they’re fine when they’re not. Maybe we need to stop letting other people tell us how to love and just love. Whatever that looks like.
So please, if you’re like me and you’ve always felt guilty that you don’t have money to give in your season of life, or you’d rather kiss the hand of the orphan than mail a 30 dollar check, I’m standing here with you. And together we can touch lives and skin and hearts with the tangible people around us, and start a tidal wave of love that spreads around the world.
I don’t care what you do, just do something. And promise me that you’ll love doing it.