I scroll by quickly. Because I can.
Sitting on my comfy couch, in my air-conditioned living room with my cold Diet Coke sweating on the table nearby. I scroll by.
Because. I. Can.
I’m neither proud of this fact or ashamed of this. Just being honest.
I did go back and stare at the photo…all the detail…all the heartache…the tiny little ribs…the sweet arms…the menacing vulture. All of it. With tears in my eyes I shut the tab. Image gone. Tears lingering.
(photo by Kevin Carter — to read blog where I first saw it and read it here)
But what can I do? That’s almost always my question. What can I, a simple homemaking, homeschooling woman from the middle of Virginia, actually do???
If that child was within my grasp, would I pick it up? You bet your sweet boopie I would. (Yeah, I don’t know what a boopie is either, but it sounded good and kinda southern…I like to sound southern!) Yes, I would pick up that child and do whatever was in my means to help…to care for…to feed…to love on…to raise…whatever.
(I can already see some of your wheels turning — ready to tell me I could go on a mission trip or I could write a check to an organization is on the ground. Both noble ideas and answers. But.)
While I sit among the richest population in the world does writing a check really make me a woman after God’s own heart? Does a scrawled signature, a stamp and trip to the mailbox get me off the hook in the fight for the “least”?? My simple answer…no. God wants more from me….from us.
My husband and I choose to partner with organizations like Compassion International. And yes, we totally write a check…actually less effort than that…got love auto payments, but our role doesn’t end there. We write letters and send pictures to our Compassion kids. We pray for and talk about the children, their families, their communities, their countries. Compassion takes the money and multiples it with others into food, medical care, spiritual care, love and SO much more.
And while we love Compassion and the richness our sponsorship adds to our lives. It is a piece of what we do…and it still doesn’t help me refute the “but” from above.
At the end of the day, or my life, what can I offer to my sweet Savior as my efforts to change the world? To love those He loves. To change the world one heart, one empty tummy, one stolen childhood, one person at a time?
**start at home** Sounds almost like a cop-out doesn’t it. Too simple, too easy, too lazy. But, it isn’t. Everyday the focus of our home is teach our peanuts about God — His creation, His people (through world history and current events), and loving Him. Homeschool lends itself to educating my children about the truths of extreme poverty around the world, but any family with any schooling routine could do this. You just gotta get a little intentional. The old saying about children being the future is TOTALLY true and we need to live like it. Start the conversations — talking about thinking about others, showing Jesus’ love, sacrificing for others. Then as a family make a plan…what’s one thing we can do this month to change our world (remember one step, one person at a time). Then Do it!!! (need some inspiration or some help — check out this awesome ebook from Live58 or connect with great communities like Moms Ending Extreme Poverty on Facebook or read the book Missional Moms by Helen Lee)
**find their passions** Our daughter has a heart for orphans (or “children without parents” as she used to call them). After listening to her sweet little girl games of school and store, I realized that she was playing that she was teaching orphans and selling everything she owned to care for them. We began to look for ways for her to put her hands where her heart already was. We made dresses…simple patterns, cute fabric and a little bit of trial and error. In the past two years we have sent boxes of dresses to organizations here in the states and we have loaded dresses into missionaries suitcases to have them delivered to little princesses at orphanages and poor communities around the world. What talents do you have? Where does your heart daydream or imagine?
**pray** God can do more with a willing heart than we ever can with a checkbook and a plan. Surrender it all to God — ask Him where to go and what to do. You might be writing checks, living abroad, or inspiring your community to get involved before you know it. Follow God — He has a plan for you.
**do something** I scrolled past that picture that hurt my heart (much like I used to change the channel when Sally Struthers used to show me images of flies crawling on starving children), but I chose to go back. To read it. To pray about it. To follow the links…to read the comments…to educate myself. Our family will be working our through the “Giving Table” ebook (linked above) this summer. That is our first action step, and as we pray who knows where God will take us.
It has been said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” (source unknown) Darkness and poverty linger (just like that blasted vulture in the photo) and when we do nothing we leave room for evil to win (the battle, not the war for Jesus already won that). Choose to love….to fight…to follow Jesus…to change the world….Because. You. Can.