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Where Is The Love?

In the wake of the devastating Haiti crisis, two things are starkly clear. People are ready, willing and able to give, and others, don’t believe in extending a hand unless they’ve taken care of their own fully.

Here’re a few comments I copied from People.com:

“How about we take care of America and the Americans’?? Why isn’t New Orleans re-built yet? Why is there so many homeless people in our own country? It’s time we start taking care of ourselves. People need to stop being obsessed with movie stars, athletes and find a hero in your own family. There is a whole lot of good American people that need jobs but yet the big companies keep exporting jobs. I just love that millionaires have to donate their time to raise money instaed of just cutting a check and going about the day. But they need to keep their name in the news or they won’t land the next multimillion dollar movie. I long for the days’ of yesterday and miss the good old USA.” – Rick


“Fighting over food!!!!!!!! I know 100 people that are homeless and would give there last breath for food. Take the contributions and sink it back into our home land. Ever see a homeless person suffer and die? I worked EMS for 15 years.  Seen it ,and it’s sad!!!  Evenly distribute the food, funds, and LOVE.  We have people fighting to SURVIVE in our “Beautiful Country”. Millions of dollars going out to other places……….What about our HOMELAND!!!!! Donate a dollar to a homeless person…Donate a dollar to the abused…….Donate a dollar to the needy…… I put a $10.00 charge on my cell phone bill….. Where did it go?” – Harry Loomis

There’re tons of comments like these floating around the web. What happened to the art of giving, because there is someone in need? Have we become so cynical and so jaded that our initial reactions are, ‘I must take care of my own first?’

The lives we have are gifts. The air we breathe is a gift. When we wake up, our eyelids flutter open, and we stare at the ceiling above our heads, that’s a gift. It’s a blessing that the roof over our heads did not cave in. It’s a blessing that our hearts didn’t stop beating in the middle of the night. Each breath we take is a gift. So it’s not about the dollars and cents in your wallet, purse or bank account, it’s about that intangible stream of life flowing through you. It is worth more than anything money can buy.

If the people of Haiti could chose between $50 million and a 7.0 earthquake, I think they’d chose life. The money you send, it can’t bring back the dead, it can only help ensure a few more of their people can wake up in the morning and try again.

Taking care of people, the suffering, should be an ongoing thing. Each country must take care of its own people, ensure their safety and wellbeing. I don’t doubt that. But I find nothing wrong with helping others as you continue to help your own. It’s our duty as human beings.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find that ‘inner looking’ talk and complaining disturbing. What really happened to the art of giving and all those parables and stories of how God rewards those who give? When someone knocks on your door and you only have one slice of bread, and you know if you give it, you will go to bed hungry, what do you do? You give it. Simple, because in the morning, you shall receive, one way or the other, you will make it. When and why did we forget how to give?

I think we’ve lost the art of giving because we have lost faith. It is by faith alone that we are who we are. Did we forget how to trust in God? Did we forget how to rely on Him for everything? When and how did we become so inward looking? What happened to sacrificing? Are the lessons of faith, giving and trust becoming like subjects we learn in grade school? Half of us never use it. But you know what, in a heartbeat you’d use that dollar to buy something else. We act like we’re poor misers, but most often we aren’t.

We must stop rating our suffering against others, and just find a way to do both. Statements like ‘but me, what do I have, that I should give some to someone’ don’t help. Let’s stop rating our pain and our wealth. Who’s the poorer country? Who’s in greater need? Who’s more deserving?

God sacrificed his son, his flesh and blood for us. Jesus Christ gave up his life, for us. Gave it up, sacrificed it, allowed nails to be hammered into him, for us. If you can’t give up your only slice of bread for someone at your door, what does that mean? What does that say to God who gave you a whole lot more?

We need to have faith again. We just need to. We need to have faith that God will provide. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow brings another opportunity to make that dollar that you just donated. Others don’t have tomorrow. We do. And as long as we believe and trust in God, he will give you what you have given and more.

Let’s give, sincerely. Let’s give without calculating how that will set us back. Let’s give without thinking, ‘well my people need this more’. We can do both. We can help our own and help others. Because in the end, we have something that is more precious than what is in our bank accounts or in our wallet or purse or fridge. We have LIFE. What is more precious? Really?