Sunday, February 16, 2014

With Faith Like a Child {Say Goodbye to Survival Mode}


They say that love can heal the broken
They say that hope can make you see - "Faith Like a Child" Jars of Clay

I shared not too long ago about a book I was reading by Crystal Paine: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, in which she discusses ways we can can live intentionally and stop letting life live us.

Rather than go chapter by chapter, I will skip around as I feel compelled to discuss what she says on various topics. 

Today, I feel compelled to talk about charity.

In light of recent political topics, many have said you can't force charity. And I believe you can't. Complete a definition search for the word "charity" and you'll discover words like "voluntary" and "love" in its definition. True charity is not forced and comes from love (not guilt or bullying).

Oftentimes, when we think about charity, we think in terms of money. And unfortunately, it's a resource that, for many of of us, is in short supply. Luckily, charity extends to include things such as time, kind works, or even kind words.

Still...are we quick to supply it outside of holidays?

It's so easy for me to get wrapped up in my own problems. And I've got problems, let me tell you! (I'm sure you do, too!) Who has time for charity?

Turns out, we do.

One person who never fails to amaze me in her capacity for love and compassion is Baby Girl. Her thoughtfulness for her fellow man is never ending.

  • Last year when we went to Universal Studios for our Girl Scout cookie trip, we watched the Mardi Gras parade. She got quite a few beads. Later, we went to an eatery for dinner. As we were eating, I noticed Baby Girl looking toward the door. As we were leaving, she took off all of her beads and went up to a little boy and his mother. Baby Girl told her that she wanted to give all of her beads to her little boy. The mother had a look of confusion on her face when she said, "Thank you". Once we were outside, I asked Baby Girl why she gave away all of her beads (especially since she worked so hard to get them). She looked at me and said, "He didn't have any beads and I didn't want him to be sad. I don't need any beads to be happy."
This week marked the first weekend for Girl Scout cookie booth sales. We spent all day out in the warm sun (and have a sunburn to show for it!). Today, when we went into town, we saw another troop selling Girl Scout cookies. 

Baby Girl stopped in front of the booth and dug in her purse. I wasn't sure what she was getting; we have over 100 boxes of cookies that we have to sell for our own troop. 

She pulls out all of the change she has in her purse and and drops it in the donation box. (Both of our troops collect donations to buy boxes for soldiers and send them overseas). 

This is just how she thinks. Competition is not in her vocabulary. She sees the bigger picture; the greater good.

Today, something pretty upsetting happened at the grocery store and Baby Girl was witness to it. We talked about it a little as we were driving home, but for the most part, Baby Girl was quiet and contemplative. 

And to be honest, I was really depressed about the whole ordeal. I was sad that it happened and even more so that she had to witness it. But as I sat here reading the charity chapter in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and reflected back to the encounter with Baby Girl at the cookie booth, I thought better of it.

Yes, the situation stinks. But it's going to be okay. And it's not the worst thing to happen to us.

Charity begins in the heart. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money (many times, it's free!) It's incredibly easy to focus on our own lives. Our own problems. Our own schedules. But in truth, it takes only a minute to look outside ourselves and see the needs that surround us.

  • The elderly neighbor
  • The new mother
  • The struggling family
  • Those in hospitals
  • Those in nursing homes
  • Animal shelters
  • Homeless shelters
  • The frustrated waitress/waiter/barista/cashier
  • Postal Worker/FedEx Driver/UPS Driver
  • Teacher/Childcare Giver
  • Police Officer/EMT/Nurse
I'm challenging myself this week to think outside myself and do something for someone.

What about you?

Until next time...

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