Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Week

I missed my second post last week because I was blessed to spend a whole weekend celebrating Easter with my mom, my brothers and sisters-in-law, their kids, and my aunt and cousin and her daughters...It was a house full at my mom's! The only person missing was my sweet daddy, who went to be with Jesus in 2006.

Spending time surrounded by people I love most in the world reminds me of how blessed I am in this life. I don't know why Jesus graced me with so many blessings, but I do know that with those blessings comes an awesome responsibility to share the love and the grace and the mercy he has given to me with those who do not have those comforts. The weekend was also a reminder that it isn't the things we have that make us feel content and joyful, it is the relationships we develop and the love we share with family and friends.

I can't imagine the sorrow a child must feel if they don't have those connections with family or friends to buoy them up out of the fear and discomfort of poverty. A wealthy child can feel extraordinarily alone if their emotional needs are unmet, while a poor child can feel rich if their emotional needs ARE met.

I remember sitting on my couch one day a few years ago before I had my son, watching TV. I remember thinking, Is this it? Is this really all there is? I mean, I love my husband, and my life at the time was amazing--I was able to do just about anything I wanted to with my time, I was dancing with a group of ladies that I adore, I enjoyed my job, and I love the Lord... but I was so bored! I kept thinking, I should be making a difference in the world, not watching "Wipeout" every Thursday night on TV like clockwork.

I started reading books about trafficking and modern-day slavery, and I really wanted to make a difference, somehow, but I felt stuck. I wasn't sure how to begin. There didn't seem to be a logical first step. The people who were working in the fields of humanitarianism seemed like giants, and I felt like an ant. I was afraid to begin.

Now I can see, in retrospect, that I was focusing on the wrong thing. I was focusing on the "me" in the equation. I was focusing on how hard it would be for "me" to do this or that, or how little difference "I" could make. I was busy comparing "me" with "them" instead of working towards discovering baby steps towards helping others. Instead of starting by collecting canned goods for a local charity, or sponsoring a single child, I was sitting on the couch fretting about what I "couldn't" do.

Had I done a simple amount of searching, I would have found that I didn't have to look too far to find so many ways to impact my world. It could be as easy as sponsoring one child and meeting their emotional need of feeling connected to the world, or making a donation to help provide health care to women and children in need. I could have opened up a Kiva loan for a small business somewhere in a developing country. Locally I could have baked some bread for my neighbor, or carried some magazines to the nursing home.

There are so many ways to help other people. As we approach Easter, we are bombarded by bunnies and chicks and eggs and baskets and candy by the bucket-load. There's nothing wrong with Easter baskets and colored eggs and fuzzy bunnies and chicks. But Easter is a time for Christians to celebrate the greatest sacrifice--Jesus' death on the cross as an expression of the great love and mercy of God.

Jesus gave his life because he loved you and me and every single one of the kids on the sponsor-me page at Compassion. Jesus loved the thief enough to forgive him on the spot, even through his own suffering. He extended compassion even as he was on the brink of death.

Make a difference. Sponsor a child this Easter. Make a donation this Easter. Love, in remembrance of Him.

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