We make a living by what we get, Churchill said, but we make a life by what we give.
Maybe after all we've seen and heard and feared this year, maybe after all we've learned, something will be different this holiday season. Maybe instead of buying Aunt Margaret a sweater, we'll buy a goat in her name from Heifer International to give a hungry family milk every day. Five dollars buys a mosquito net to guard a sleeping child. We'll find a mission. Raise the money. Raise an army. Save a life.
Some would say it's 'un-Christian' to consider doing relief or humanitarian efforts without the main goal of clearly laying out the Gospel to those helped. Youre just dealing with temporal needs, thay'd say, and the eternal are all that matters. Why waste your time on earthly comfort for people without ensuring their salvation eternally?
What do you guys think? Is it valid to go work for or support the Peace Corps, Heifer International, the Red Cross, or the UN in their humanitarian efforts? Or should be just stick to Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, and Operation Mobilization, because they present the gospel with their aid?
"Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"
"Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'"
"The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Sometimes I feel I am very selfish, terribly so. While there is an AIDS epidemic in Africa and a war in Iraq and civil wars and earthquakes and hurricanes around the rest of the world, I am excited that my wedding planning is coming together and I got my homework done early. I don't give a thought to the day-to-day realities and tragedies of the rest of the world. I don't know what a practical answer to it all is, though. Ideas?