To kick us off, I'd like to introduce Linda, who is a good friend as well as being the secretary at the church where we attended before we moved. Linda wanted to share something that's been bugging her a bit this week (and give us some food for thought-- please feel free to leave (kind) thoughts/encouragement).
I’m a little cynical about helping the poor because I work for a church. Isn’t that a weird sentence? I’m usually the first person people talk to when they ask our church for help with rent, utilities, food and (at this time of the year) Christmas gifts for their children. In two days’ time with no advertising of any kind, 36 children were signed up for Christmas gifts from the kind volunteers from our church who each buy presents for one child.
There is a space on the application to put down any special interests or hobbies that the child has. This year those requests were for DS and Wii games, skateboards, Justin Bieber and anything that is “in” these days. There is a part of me that says if you have a Wii machine or your child has a Nintendo DS you aren’t poor. A couple of people put down that anything would be a blessing. Those are the people that I don’t mind helping. I don’t see any reason for Christians to buy worldly fads instead of books to increase these children’s vocabulary and world view or Bibles to increase their knowledge of our Savior. My children went without all the “correct” clothes and toys that everyone had to buy, and they have turned out all right (a youth minister and an automotive engineer).
The last two days I have had to turn people down because we just couldn’t handle more of these after we took care of needs in our congregation, at the children’s home, and at the homeless shelter. Do you know how they have responded? "But you’ve helped me the last two or three years!" I wish just once they would say, “That’s OK. I’ve been blessed by your congregation for several years so I can understand the need to help others.” Somehow I don’t think I will ever hear them speak with gratitude or hear that they are paying these blessings forward to others after they have been helped. Am I just a cynic?