I made the mistake of listening—really listening—to myself wishing the other day, and I thought (paraphrasing Red Riding Hood's comment to her wolfish grandmother), "My, what big "I's you have!"I wanted a newer car (a 1987) with a tapedeck; I wanted new siding and insulation for the back part of the house. I wanted a new mattress for our bed, to replace the sagging, split and lumpy one we had had for five years. (We bought it used for fifty dollars.) I wanted relief for Archie's paining back and arm. I wanted—well, the list went on.Then I realized what an ingrate I was. I have a nice little car, a comfortable home, a bed to lie on and a supply of food.
I have a husband whose love, compassion and sensitivity are second to none . We have our animals (pets all, from the dogs, cats and raccoon to the horses, goats and chickens) and our neighbours and friends. Once again, the list went on.Am I really so different from you? Do you too find yourself focusing on what you want, instead of thanking God for what you have already? Do you, too, forget the millions of souls on our weary planet who could live for a week on your daily diet? Do you, too, sometimes think that because you live in a Western society, you are entitled to share an affluent lifestyle? Do you, too, think that a camcorder is a need? a remote for your television, a necessity? a top-fashion outfit a prerequisite to your happiness?If so, I beg you to stop with me a while, and look around at where we are right now. We are dwelling in a fool's paradise, ignoring Lazarus at our gate—Lazarus in the form of street children, outcasts, and the poverty-stricken individuals who make their homes under bridges and in subway stations. These people are our burden.
Our mandate from the Lord is to share our possessions with them; to comfort and encourage them; to ease their suffering in whatever way we can. We live in troubled times. We cannot ignore the sorrow around us. We must be like the Good Samaritan, if we would follow Christ. We cannot turn our eyes inward to see what we would like to have—we must rather open our eyes outward, to see what they MUST have to live.We must indeed have big eyes—big to see, and big with compassionate tears.
We must indeed have big I's—I can do this little bit to help; I can do that little bit to help, and I will do what I can. Thus will our I's serve us.I pray that our returning Lord will not find us "seeing, but perceiving not" the need around us. I pray that our returning Lord will not find us sulking in a fit of gloom because our pride is hurt. I pray that as we turn to others to share His love and bounty, we will find such peace that our eyes will see His face in all we help."Even so, come, Lord Jesus" — but until You do, we shall do what You would have us do.Let us do all we can, as we can, and pray that others will join us as we do.[Note: The above article was written close to a decade ago, but unfortunately hasn't lost any of its immediacy in the intervening years. As a society we're *still* putting things before people's needs far too often in our daily lives...
aren't we? - DEH].