Tuesday, March 1, 2011

what the poor taught me yesterday...

I say that I'm blessed all the time, but do I really understand what it means? When I compare myself to the entire population of the world, I have more than some will ever have in their entire lifetime. I think most of us would fall into the top 10% of the entire world. Making us the the richest in the world. It's a very humbling thought.

Although we give financially to a number of ministries, this year I've been convicted to go to the places where people are hurting and give of my time. Not that giving money is a bad thing, but I need to be His hands and feet.

So, yesterday I volunteered at a local food kitchen.

I'll admit it has been a long time since I've stepped foot into a place like this. Honestly, I was excited. I wanted to help.

Please realize that my thoughts are raw and I realize that some of them will feel disjointed. Please forgive me. I won't bore you with all the details of the experience other than to say I learned some very valuable lessons. Here is one that stood out;
  1. Food and water are a start, but they are not enough:  I realized at the end of our time at the kitchen, that I had done nothing. Okay, I know, I helped feed the needy. But as I watched them eat, I realized the food was not changing their circumstance. Some were still hurt and in need of more.  One young man was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. You could tell he was processing something, but he lacked any facial expression that would lead you to believe he was sad, happy, upset or anything. Then there was a lady. A sweet lady with a bright beautiful smile, that despite her circumstance, proceeded to hand me an envelop titled "A Great love letter From The Almighty God In Jesus' Name". She seemed to have a joy and a hope about her. Two different people, with two different outlooks. One needing a connection and the other wanting one.
I found myself wanting to stay and talk with them. Make that connection. I didn't. I had to return to work.


    I've determined that even in my desire to help I was being a little selfish. Sure I had the best intentions in giving of my time. But as Tom Davis shared at the Idea Camp this past weekend, true compassion makes you vulnerable. It makes you hurt. We give...but do we give until it hurts? I'm not just talking financially. I'm talking emotionally. Are we willing to pour our lives into someone even when it makes us hurt? I think it was Brene Brown that said, "we are made for connection". We all long to be connected.

    Every. Single. One of us.

    After yesterday, I feel like I missed the mark. But now, I'd like to ask myself this question...

    Am I willing to be that connection, to that someone, who needs one?

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