I read the most amazing blog post on We Are THAT Family today. You can read it here. It was awesome for a number of reasons:
1. I literally just finished a conversation with my parents (they like to put me on speaker phone, which I hate, so the three of us can chat) about helping some charitable organizations to become sustainable and what that would look like. We talked about consuming less so we have more to give. I pointed out that for a mere $15/work day we could support another entire family in Ethiopia and that family would be able to afford things they never dream of, but that we Americans think are necessities. We talked about micro loans and helping widows buy animals so they can support their families. We even dared to dream a bit about what the future may look like if an organization could become sustainable and no longer rely on inconsistent monthly donations. Finally, we considered the practicality of all of this in our daily lives and what we need to do to make it happen - less talk, more do is what I like to say. What can we do today to make the future a little brighter for the orphans in Madagascar & Ethiopia? Those are just two of the places we've made connections. My Dad summed it up with this statement, "Crucify the flesh." And with that our 10 minute window was up and Mom had an incoming call.
2. In the above mentioned conversation, my Mom mentioned a place in Kenya, which she thought was called Mercy House, that she wanted to look into. I didn't think twice about it - we always have another organization or charity that we are looking into and dreaming of ways we can help. After the conversation abruptly ended, I clicked onto Facebook and saw that an old friend had posted an article title, "Dear World, let's stop giving our crap to the poor!" Well that intrigued me and I clicked. First sentence in I read "Mercy House" in Kenya. Wait a minute, I feel like I just heard that name. I didn't even have to go searching to know more about Mercy House, the info found me. Cool.
3. And now for the most important reason this article was awesome - it was TRUE! The article talked about rich, spoiled (I added that part) Americans sending their leftovers to the poor and thinking they did the world a favor. What is wrong with us? Seriously? Why do we think it's okay to give our rags to the very people Jesus told us to care for? Is that what we think Jesus would do if he were in our position? I think not. Why are we so connected to our stuff that we aren't willing to lay it aside for the sake of another? God help us. God help me. I don't want to be this person. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Please hear my heart. I'm not saying you have to give away designer fashion or high end whatever, I'm simply saying let's give our best, not our worst. Let's give generously. Let's live generously. Let's deny ourselves of our riches and give to the least of them. Let's wear the same pair of jeans until they wear thin so someone else can eat one meal today. Let's give whatever God asks of us in order to care for another. Most importantly, let's ask God what it is that He would have us give. We all have something to give. Ask Him and be obedient. God, help me to give generously, to live a generous lifestyle, to crucify my flesh so others can simply live.
And if you haven't already, go read the blog post that started this whole rant!