As my wife and I were finishing up our weekly shopping, the cashier commented on the large number of Cup-o-Soups and other easily prepared meals that we had in our cart. Jackie explained to her that our church fills back packs each week to send home with 30 needy children in our community. All of those items were being purchased to give away.
Jackie and the cashier entered into a conversation about the living conditions and life circumstances that many people in our area face each day. For many children in west Georgia, the free breakfast and lunch that they receive at school are the best meals that they have all week. Many of the children that we assist take their back packs home each week and share the little that we give them with the rest of their family.
As we were preparing to leave, the cashier looked at us and said ‘I think that a lot of those people just have their priorities in the wrong place’. In other words, they have the money, but they don’t spend it wisely.
Her parting comment has been weighing on my mind. It is so easy to look for fault instead of offering help. In the end, I think that we are looking for a way to justify our lack of action. But it’s a fair question…whose fault is it that they are hungry?
In the 9th chapter of John, the disciples of Jesus had a similar question for their Rabbi. Upon seeing a blind man, they asked Jesus ‘Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?’
Can you hear the accusation in their voices? Hey Jesus, whose fault is it that he can’t see? Is it something that he did? Maybe something his parent’s did? Who is to blame? It’s easy to hear them today…Hey Jesus, whose fault is it that he doesn’t have any food to eat? Is it something he did? Or are his parents just wasting their money on beer and cigarettes? Whose fault is it Jesus?
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
John 9:3-5 NLT
Jesus simply says ‘Neither’. It happened so that the power of God could be seen in him. When we give of our supply to help others, we are showing them the love that God has for them. When we allow blessings to pass through us, we are revealing the power of God in the world. We are being good sons and daughters.
And we too must act quickly. There is a brief period of time in the life of a child where their innocence and sense of wonder are still intact. Everything in the world is working right now to destroy their hope and belief. Your sharing the love of Jesus through a meal, or mentoring, or countless other ways may be the act that opens their spiritual eyes and alters their life forever.
Make a difference in a life today. Not because they deserve it. And not because you ‘have to’.
Do it because the light is fading.