I have a resource and a story to share today. The first is a link to an excellent article and brief video on the need to interact with others to make changes. Here it is: http://odewire.com/184698/reach-beyond-yourself.html
The second is what happened to me last night. I ran into the grocery store (filled with an overabundance of almost everything!) and immediately saw another customer on a phone—crying. I overheard her say, “can you please send me at least $20 by Western Union because I need to get to my grandkids.” I looked in my billfold, found I had $16 and gave her $10 (which she accepted reluctantly and with a confused look on her face), then I quickly walked away. I felt very good—for about five minutes. This may be the reason we like to do charity more than justice work. That “feel good” sensation comes with very little sacrifice: I didn’t give all I had and it only took me about five seconds. And even though I didn’t want to be noticed, when I left the store the welcome man was especially gracious.
After the five minutes of being “puffed up,” I started to re-evaluate the situation. Why didn’t I give all I had, since I had heard her say what she needed and what I gave didn’t cover the need? Why didn’t I find out where she needed to go (maybe even offering to drive her)? My answers are similar to some of yours might be: I didn’t have much extra money…I didn’t want to interfere and embarrass her…I didn’t have time for a long drive…I didn’t know how to offer help gracefully.
The good feeling left as quickly as it came, leaving me with other feelings and questions. The situation and article made it clear to me that I need to interact with others who will help me understand how to be a person who “loves mercy and ACTS justly.”
I’d love to have you share your stories on my blog or by email!