Thursday, February 2, 2012

To Serve Man

I recently spoke with some women about helping others. One woman in particular was frustrated with herself about what she saw as  her lack of ability to help an overwhelming amount of  broken people in very discouraging circumstances; in this case, the poor. She was also frustrated that opportunities to help the poor didn't present themselves...Or so she thought.

I think Satan thrives on this sort of conundrum. He's coming at us from all directions on this one - hopelessness for the size and degree of the problem, frustration with ourselves for not making it right, keeping us in a consumer or survival driven fog so often we aren't even aware of others beyond our circle, and encouraging our judgmental and scared nature.

Opportunities aren’t presenting themselves if we’re not paying attention. If helping others is a strong desire the first thing you need to do is be aware. Get off the smart phone or out of your head when you’re waiting in a public place and watch the world instead. Opportunities are everywhere: a person who’s come up short at the grocery store or who’s card didn’t get accepted, a lady pushing a stroller on the road because she doesn’t have a car, someone on the corner asking for work, food, or money; someone who is hinting while telling you how they are hoping you’ll pick up on their desperate situation and help them seek a solution. Don’t make your weekly contribution to your congregation be the only means you use to help. Get your hands dirty.

You will not be able to completely change their physical situation but you can definitely give some relief, light, and friendship. Remember, you can’t understand God’s vision. It’s in the works and beyond our wisdom. It is not hopeless if you’re helping. I recommend finding out what your community offers, printing the contact information, and keeping it with you to pass out when you find someone who has needs beyond your ability.

Most importantly, understand that you are not immune to their situation. It is not unreasonable that you yourself could be in the same predicament one day. Don’t judge. And, I understand there are people who will take advantage of you and in time your discernment will be sharper. I personally feel I’m accountable to help and they’re accountable to do what is right with it whether it be my time, money, or emotions.
And pray. If this is your desire beg God to give you opportunities, discernment, and ability. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14

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