Many of us have forgotten about Haiti already. Life for us has moved on. Maybe you donated, maybe you intended to but never got around to it. Perhaps the images and news stories struck your heart, but you never moved to action. Or maybe you did, and you've satisfied the emotion you felt a month ago.
For me, there have been a couple factors that have played into my life. One was definitely the earthquake. Over the years, I've seen tragedy, and felt sadness for people, and had a desire to do things to help. Unfortunately, even if I did react immediately, the experience didn't continue in my life. I soon forgot about the needs of other people and carried on, making myself happy, searching for satisfaction, and complaining when life didn't come to me the way I wished it would.
So when Haiti hit I, again, was moved to give. But this time, I don't want to stop giving. I'm not saying I am going to continue to send money to Haiti or to the Red Cross. I just mean, I want to be a giving person. I have been given so much. And as reminded by preachers like Mark Driscoll and Frances Chan---I'm rich! Why do I keep it all for myself?
A few people who have impacted me:
1. Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand years has continuously challenged me to live a life worth telling about.
2. Mark Driscoll - You can have your opinion about the man, but he does have some great things to say. I was especially moved when he replayed the story (it was audio/video) of a person in Haiti who suffered for a week with injuries to the face because the family could not afford a taxi to the hospital. When he asked how much it would cost to get the family member to the hospital, the man replied, "Um, uhh.. .one,, uh, fifteen dollars." My heart broke, and tears fell.
I sit around deciding if I should renew my phone today since I can. Should I buy a new computer since mine is kind of slow? Man, I'd really like a flat panel tv because my big monstrous one is hard to move around. And here, in the same world I live, someone is suffering because the family doesn't have fifteen dollars!
3. Frances Chan - In his book, Crazy Love, (I think it was in the book) he said his family sold their larger home for a smaller home so they could give more. Wow. That hit me. I rent a room, and often feel unfulfilled because I don't have my OWN place. I feel lesser in society because I don't have the financial success that would allow me to get my very own home or even apartment.
But Chan challenged me --- I thought, wow, I have financial freedom because of my situation, but I use it all for me. God has given me this gift of renting a room so that I might be able to give to others.
So, I'm trying to be less self-centered with my money, and concentrate on the fact that I can be used of God to bless others with my money. It's not easy, but it's rewarding when it's accomplished. I feel purpose and fulfilled more than I would if I bought myself that SLR camera or a new car.
Interestingly, as you've probably heard in sermon after sermon about giving, I'm amazed at how much I've been able to get that I want, and still be giving more than I thought I could give. Maybe my mind is transforming so that I want less. I'm not sure. I just know I'm thankful for what I have, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to give.
So, my challenge to my friends, to my readers, is to give. The local Christian radio station would be a 4th challenge to me, and I want to pass it on to all of you. 91.9, WGTS, is promoting "The Drive Thru Difference." This is a simple way to give. You just buy your meal, and then pay for the person's behind you. I promise you, your heart will be rewarded in giving.
There is a print-out on the link, but I suggest you write your own note, just sharing your desire to give. Linking them to 91.9 will give them the opportunity to hear more about the God who gave His Son for us, so feel free to include that information.
I hope you are challenged, and I hope you take this challenge