Thursday, October 16, 2008

Discipling the virtue of Compassion

Yesterday was "Blog Action Day"- where bloggers are asked to "change the conversation" in lives around the world. The topic for 2008 is poverty. Now you, and I, my friends, are mostly homemakers, parents, carpool drivers, and the like, am I right? But, we influence people within our homes, churches and communities, as well as the future leaders of the world- in society, business, government, and church. As we speak about the poor (or do we acknowledge the existence of mass poverty in our world?)--- how do we speak? With compassion? With responsibility? With action?

I am encouraged today- to incorporate talk of the poor and our responsibility into our lives. There exist differing perspectives on what poverty is. Afterall, most everything is relative. If you live in the US, some would say that no matter how bad off you are, you do not experience poverty. I would argue that anyone who does not have security in knowing their basic needs will be regularly met, is in poverty. (Those not in poverty have no fear--- not even a thought- of whether their basic needs for food and shelter will be met.)

Perhaps you are already doing things that your children are unaware of. We make a SMALL monthly contribution to Feed the Children. However, I don't think our children are aware of this. So, today, I will make them aware. Each year we pack Shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse- Operation Christmas Child- likely, you do, too! There is a children's book that talks about the shoe boxes- perhpas it, or your own story, would help drive-home the reason for this charitable act. Many ministries close to home and around the world are serving the needs of the poor- historically, most of them have been Christian ministries, however, as of late, the secular world is attuned to the abhorent existence of poverty and have been making their own efforts to raise awareness of and erradicate hunger and poverty. One such is End Poverty 2015. We all need to join together in this work of self-sacrifice and serving others in need. I believe for parents, this begins with teaching our children how blessed they are and to extend the compassion of Jesus to those who are in need. This might begin with small personal sacrifices to benefit someone else.

Even though we in America are experiencing serious financial hardships, we are rich compared to 90% of the world (or so I've read in that email forward...). Let's start changing the conversation in our small corner of the world- and bring compassion to those in need.

What are some small, practical ways you (and your family) can begin to address the issue of poverty in our world?

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