Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. – Proverbs 3:27
Before you read any more i want you to do something for me..please stop and just look around at the place in which you are sitting. What do you see? I’ll tell you what I see.. When I look around my tiny living room I see my dog lazily sprawled out on my hand-me-down couch.. my 12 dollar lamp from Ikea sitting on the end table that I rescued from the side of the road a few years back..I see my sweet son playing in his exersaucer that I bought off craigslist..behind him I see the curtains that I found at Goodwill slightly dancing because of the air vent below them.. I see our tv; i wont even begin to describe all the random toys, pictures and knick knacks laying around.. but that just about sums up what I see. Above it all, one thing drastically stands out when I survey my surroundings..I see blessing. I see extreme wealth.
How I can be so thankful for the shabby contents that fill my humble living room may have you puzzled right now. I hope not..but some of you may even feel sorry for my children..sorry that they have to be raised in such circumstances. Please dont feel this way..hopefully by the end of this post you will feel differently.
Standing there with the hot sun beating down upon his head, almost as if they were trying to find some relief in the sweat that poured from his brow, the flies relentlessly buzzed around him. The things his senses processed that day would paint a memory onto his mind that would never be erased. As he stood there, on the primitive tarmac waiting to board his plane, the overwhelming odor of jet fuel lingered in the stagnant air that surrounded him. Just as he was about to board his plane he felt a hand tugging on his shirt..turing around, his eyes fell upon a woman closely clutching her baby to her breast. “please sir, please sir take my baby with you,” she pleaded as she extended the crying baby towards him. In the eyes that bulged from the infant’s sunken face and in the pleading eyes of the child’s mother the man saw the same thing – hopelessness. Looking out the tiny window, as he sat in that plane, the sight of that mother weeping for the baby that she could not feed..weeping for the baby that she could not keep alive flooded his soul with a pain that, even now, he cannot forget.
The man in that story is my father. Some years ago, he went to Haiti on a missions trip and this is what happened when he was at the airport waiting to fly back home. Can you imagine a future so grim..so hopeless? Can you imagine looking into the eyes of your crying son or daughter and seeing no tears because they are so dehydrated from the diarrhea and vomiting caused by the tainted water that is all you have to give them? Can you imagine a world that gives such a small hope of survival..a world so barren that the loving mothers living within it would beg for their children to be taken from them..just so their children could be swept far away from the cold poverty into which they were born? This is a way of living that even the poorest American cannot imagine. In Haiti people are so starving that they eat patties made from mud, oil and sugar. My children might have a lot of tuna casserole and PB&J’s in their future..but i am so lucky..so blessed to say that they will never have to eat mud just so their tummies will quiet down. In America we have food stamps and wic to lean on in times of trouble..however, think of the billions of people all over this planet who have nothing. Approximately 25,000 people die of hunger every DAY, about 9 million people per year.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity. – George Bernard Shaw
How much good could we do? The answer to that is endless. What if you gave up buying a new pair of sunglasses..a drink at the bar..or gave up Starbucks once a week, and instead gave that money to a good charity. Do you know how much good your simple sacrifice could do..how many deserving children and adults could have food one more day because of the few dollars you spared. Or, if you are like me and do not have the extra money lying around for sunglasses and lattes..im almost positive that you still have an extra can of food in your pantry that you could spare..ALL of us has a voice that can spread this message. If we all made it a point to not withhold good from those who deserve it..if we refused to ignore the plight of our fellow man..i cannot correctly sum up the overflow of joy and happiness that would fill our lives. Our world could be a different place..a place were innocent children did not silently waste away from hunger..a place where good people did not die from simple diseases, diseases that the pharmacy shelves in America are piled high with the medicine needed to cure them..a world where people had hope. Life.
if you want to start today..here are some links to several charities, all of which have the highest ratings given for financial accountability and moral practice. I am not affiliated with any of them and neither is my church..these are just a few of the ones I found while searching online. If you would like to search for yourself, http://www.charitynavigator.org/ is a great site that you can search and compare different organizations.