Known for her play on words, but more so for getting her hands dirty, author Ann Voskamp wrote “We aren’t here to one-up one another, but to help one another up.” Too many people unfortunately crash and burn today. I wonder if those same folks were ever given the opportunity to answer the question, “What’s eating you?” Would that have made a difference? When I found a locust eating away at my Red Star Cordyline plant, I was amazed how much was destroyed. Life wants to gnaw away at us through sad memories or bitterness, or even stress.
Voskamp also wrote “The best way to de-stress is to bless.” We all need a hand to pull us out of our own quicksand and we also need to extend our hand to the helpless. When I slammed my head and my nose into the rough asphalt, I crashed and burned. I was grateful my mountain bike buddy was there to pull me up even though I was a bloody mess. Besides a downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee tourist dropping their mouth open after witnessing my wreck, they also dropped their map. A lady ran over and handed me some band-aids and some towelettes. She knew help was wanted.
Plunging a whole lot deeper…what about children who from a very early age never have the opportunity to succeed. Do we just sit back with our big bowl of popcorn, like we are watching a movie and say “Bless their heart.” Even though Mrs. Voskamp homeschooled and raised 6 children in Canada, she and her farmer husband adopted an orphan girl from China. Her name is Ruby and she literally has half of a heart due to a defect. Ann new help was wanted.
Flying to Guatemala in ‘94 and ‘98 with a group of high schoolers to visit our Compassion International supported child “Jose” was eye opening. I did not know what poverty was until then. If you want to get your mind off of yourself, go visit a third-world country. Each teenager brought Jose a birthday present. As we entered his one-room house, by walking on a dirt floor, his smile of contentment tore into our self-consumed psyche like a knife into butter. As the high schoolers watched Jose rip into his presents, I stood behind them…and cried. We knew help was wanted.
Wanna get involved with Compassion International? Visit their website at www.compassion.com where you can sign up and send a monthly check for $38.00. You also get to write your child three times a year. The letters our family gets back from our current supported child “Maria” (in Bolivia) puts one of those “Jose” smiles on my face. We started supporting her when she was 6 years old in 2006 and now she is 18 years of age. My prayer for her is that she would help others because she has been helped. How can you lend a helping hand in your corner of the world?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”
One thought on ““Help Wanted” (Poverty: part 1)”
Much needed devotional for all of us! Getting my mind off of myself is the best gift I can give myself — getting my mind on how to serve God in my surroundings is a gift to God Himself.
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