One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.Albert Schweitzer
I have asked myself this question: Is my life all about me? Am I living for myself, only looking for ways to make myself happy? Am I doing enough to help others?
I think about doing something like volunteering for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Part of me wants to help them, but part of me wants to protect myself from knowing their pain.
Teaching in public schools for 22 years opened my eyes to the reality of some kids’ pain. Father is in prison, or mom is on drugs, this girl possibly sex-trafficked, these children come to school hungry, and on and on it goes.
One thing I will never forget is the girl in the Valvoline shirt. I spotted her in the cafeteria one day. What must it be like to be in Junior High and have nothing better to wear than a “Valvoline Oil Change” shirt and a shoddy skirt?
I remember how my mother always saw to it that I had nice clothes. I never remember being embarrassed by what I wore to school. How must this young teen feel?
Once I had a 12-year-old student who always had the shabbiest clothes and shoes. We felt so bad for her. One year, before the start of school someone bought her some cute new clothes and gave them to her anonymously. I don’t know what happened to them, but she never wore any of it. My guess is her mother sold them or took them back to the store for the money.
If we work among those in need, we may be more mindful of the suffering around us, in our own towns and cities. But if we are so blessed as to be removed from the presence of suffering, we may not be aware of the many needs all around us.
Albert Schweitzer said, “Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier. … Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
There are children and adults all around us who need kindness. My prayer is that I will not shut out their cries for help, but be the one who hears Jesus’ command and obeys.
“…the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 ESV
Well, it’s something to think about as we head into the month of Thanks Giving. As we thank God for all our many blessings, may we be mindful of the ways we can love our “neighbors” in need.
With Love, Cindy
Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?