Monday, November 21, 2005
Why is it so hard to wrap my head around making a real difference when there is SO much to be done. ANYthing I do is more than was being done yesterday.
There are about 15 million refugees in this world. Imagine. Imagine having NOTHING, including absolutely no sense of peace. And okay, okay, we all want to think that the political climates in many of these countries have to change before we could possibly do anything to help. But what if the people in those same countries were just a little more empowered? What if tomorrow someone in some village got a cow or a chicken or a goat and suddenly had hope? And what would that do to your sense of empowerment if you were just in some small way responsible for making that happen?
Here's my idea:
Christmas is coming up. We've all got too much stuff as it is. Oh there's always going to be something more we pine for, and that's okay with me. But is what you're pining for likely going to be the selection your mother-in-law makes for you? How many of us are wishing we didn't get many of the gifts we get because then we're just laden with the guilt of having one more thing we didn't ever really want but now have to display/use/wear? WHAT IF we emailed the people who are likely to buy us something (even though they know we don't need or want anything -- but they love us and they want to show us and in our culture you show love by giving stuff... but that's another story...) and ask them to give us the gift of peace? What if we could feel just a little more peace in our hearts if we knew that people who actually are in desperate dire NEED of stuff got just a little of what they needed? What if we emailed our friends and family our own favourite website (http://www.heifer.org/ is a really good one) and said "I know you love me and want to give me something. Would you consider giving something here instead, thereby giving me the gift of a happier heart?"
And there's our children. We protect them from the realities of the world. We sure don't let them watch the World Vision programs on weekday morning T.V. WHY? Because it might traumatize them. HOW? They would see children suffering. But don't you think they already feel the suffering in the world? Here's what I see happening:
Annika: "Why is that little girl crying?"
Mama: "I think she's hungry, Annika."
Annika: "Why is she hungry?"
Mama: "Because she doesn't have enough food."
Annika: "Can't her mama give her some food?"
Mama: "No, she can't. She wants to, but she doesn't have any."
Annika: "Can we give her some of our food?"
Mama: "We can, Annika. Would you like to?"
Annika: "Yes, mama. I want that little girl to not cry anymore."
Mama: "Would you like her to get some of your presents at Christmas?"
Annika: "Yes, mama."
OKAY! That's pretty simple! I think children get it a lot faster than we do. They, who are so fresh from God, understand things that we have long forgotten. And the really cool thing is you don't have to pass on your sense of hopelessness. There IS SO MUCH we can do. Let's get started...