I thought I would do some reflecting and you all know that I just love to do that ah! Some reflecting on the things, people and situations that have begun to pop up in my life, things that I have never before really paid any attention to. Ever since we launched Loving Arms in June, God has been showing me more and more things and situations that have made my heart sad and more often than not moved me to tears. I don't really want to see these things but I do. I have known about 'the poor and the needy' in the past. I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we all 'know about them' - 'them' being just numbers or statistics, 'them' being those that make the headlines on the daily news, 'them' that documentaries are made of, or 'them' that live in that part of town. But now I am beginning to see them and to know them and it isn't pretty. It actually hurts.
Perhaps that's why its easy for people to turn their heads and backs to the need. To judge. To despise. To think "well its their fault - they should get a job, they shouldn't have children, they shouldn't drink, they should help themselves". (Yes its that bad - read any blog, Facebook page dedicated to raising awareness of the plights of the poor and you will see how vicious people get.) Its easier that way because then they have an excuse, a reason for not doing anything, to keep that world at arms length. All because if one sees the problem then they might feel that they need to do something. And if so, they may have to ask what can I do and what is it going to cost me? Those are hard questions to ask oneself...I know I have had to ask them of myself and it takes you to uncomfortable places.
Peoples stories are real, and some of them are heart wrenching and spirit moving. To see how people are living in our country, our wealthy country is so wrong. No one should have to live like they do but peoples families are missing, friends are shallow, superficial or in just as bad as situation as the person that needs help and communities are too big, too guarded or too arrogant to see and to help.
But stepping out of the rubble...(picture rubble from a war stricken city with dust that hasn't settled yet and a group of dusty, dirty with torn clothes of people stepping out and up out of the dust and into the scene - cos that's the picture I have in my head) is a group/s of people banding together seeing a need and meeting it albeit with often a limited budget and resources but doing the best they can. Take one Mum of Seven feeding the kids of a community every Friday night at a local community centre - all because she hates seeing them all hungry or a tough bikey type gang headed up by a hulk of a man feeding kids of local schools between 450 -500 sandwiches a day. Why because he has been there, he knows the hunger and he is choosing to do something about it. What a guy!! There are many many more of these local heroes coming into the light filling needs when and where they can with the help of volunteers.
I think my point is - that we all choose to see what we want to, we all choose to hear what we want to and consequently we all choose what we do with that information. I would also like to believe that everyone wants to help somehow but don't always know how or where to start because often problems seem so big and too tough to tackle.
For too long I lived in a bubble only seeing what I chose to see and believed what kept me safe from these painful stories that people are living. Its easy to live detached like that. But even though it is scary and tough and I don't know where this journey of Loving Arms will go, I truly believe I am more blessed and a better person for choosing to step out of my privileged bubble that I have lived for so long. And I thank God for that everyday and every time we can help someone!
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was sick and youI was in prison and you came to me.’