Contrast that to today's big event, Super Bowl Sunday, where people all over the country will be eating in excess, watching commercials that glamorize drinking, fast cars, and shallow or immoral activities, and it's not hard to wonder where we are headed as a country. People all over the world are living without basic necessities and many of us have closed our eyes to their needs.
I often wonder what would happen if we knew without a doubt that in six months we would be trading places with someone in Calcutta, India or Nigeria, Africa or one of hundreds of other locations where people live in hunger, danger or without basic human needs. Would we suddenly realize we have resources to make their lives better, even if just in preparation for our being in their shoes in the future?
(Hmmm. click "Read More")
How am I going outside of my comfort zone to meet the needs of someone less fortunate?
Do I carry gift cards to local food stores or blankets in my car to hand to a homeless person on the street? I want to. Do I occasionally make a batch of soup to take to the elderly neighbor who has no family to visit her? I want to. It won't happen, though, unless I make it a priority and take the steps. My intentions do no one any good.
My son used to carry brown lunch bags in his trunk with white socks, toothpaste and a toothbrush, granola bars and other basic supplies to give to someone he passed in need. If he could, he would take a few moments to talk with them. I was really touched by the simplicity, yet effectiveness of this approach. We may not be able to transform someone's life, but we can transform a moment of it.
Of course, the best thing I can give is the gift of myself, my time, my smile, my love, like Mother Teresa, to give dignity to those who society has cast aside and called unimportant. This really stretches us because now we challenged to engage them, to allow them into our hearts and we feel more keenly their pain.
The rewards for giving are huge: personal satisfaction, an enriched life, and promises from the gospel, "whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto me." I encourage you to look for ways you too can give back from the blessings you've been given.
If you have something you already do that would be an encouragement to all of us, please share it in the comments. I believe we really can change the world, one kind action at a time!