In the few weeks before Christmas I asked each of my kids for some ideas of what they would like for Christmas, and every one of them (except for Ava of course), asked for another brother or sister to adopt. They wouldn't mind getting a couple of extra things too, of course, but first and foremost on their list was to help out a child in need, and give them a forever family.
They get it. They understand God's heart and the true meaning of giving at Christmas.
I, on the other hand, went out and spent $700 on a bunch of crap that is now laying around cluttering the house, being tripped over and not being played with. Sure, the colorful green and red presents looked pretty lying under the tree, and the anticipation of wondering what was inside them was sort of fun, but when it is all said and done, it is still just a bunch of junk, temporal, wasteful, and having no eternal value.....cluttering our house and our hearts. My kids got that and I missed it.
I am ashamed that I went out the day after Christmas to see what kind of deals I could find, and I am disgusted remembering the long lines of people I saw that day, people buying more junk, and exchanging the stuff they received for the stuff they wanted.
It makes me sick that we live in a society where breast implants, fancy houses, fake nails have become the norm. We don't lack anything, we cannot even fathom what suffering is. And even in an "economic crisis", the lines at Walmart the night before Christmas are a mile long.
I hate that we try to measure success by the kind of car we drive, the size of our house, the brand of purse we carry. I hate that.
Last night I watched this video and cried the whole way through it. (Thank you Christine and Christina for sharing it). I found myself being critical of those people who could do so much and yet do so little to help. I found myself wanting to scoop these children up out of the dirt and feed them, clothe them and love them. And then how quickly my own selfishness and greed were revealed as I realized the thoughts that were going through my mind....... I'd have to give up so much...... There are too many comforts here I couldn't live without..... My family might suffer....... It might be dangerous....... Surely God wants us to stay right here and enjoy the freedom and blessings of being American. Instead I'll just stay here and watch some YouTube videos about the suffering of the world, maybe send a few dollars for someone else to do the dirty work.
Once I read about a human behavior/social experiment that was conducted and I was so surprised at the results that I am still thinking about it years later. In a crowd of people, a person pretended to be having a seizure, or a heart attack or something like that. I was shocked to learn that nobody, not one person offered their help. Everybody stood around staring but nobody helped. Surely I would help, surely I would, I thought to myself. I would go against peer pressure and offer my help. Wouldn't I? But then again, how many times have I heard about a shortage of clean water in third world countries. Did I rush in to help? I have read all about countries and people facing famines and starvation, little children being sold as child prostitutes. What have I done to ease their pain and suffering?
I am turning over a new leaf this year. Instead of the usual reaction of "How sad", "How tragic", or "What a shame", I am going to start asking myself what I can sacrifice to help bring hope to a dying and hopeless world. I may not be rich, and you may not be either, but we all have something to share, and we can make a difference. I heard a pastor share that if Americans just gave a portion of what we spend on Christmas alone, the world's water shortage could be completely eradicated.
I am going to be thinking and praying about what I can do. I hope you will too. Let's make our New Year's resolutions not about us, our weight, our pant size, our finances, our accomplishments or status, but about what we can give and how we can make someone else's world a better place. In a couple of days I will post my ideas and I hope you all will give me your ideas too. Please, please join me!!!
James 4:17 "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." Please watch the video, even if you have to come back later to do it, and tell me how you were impacted. Please.