Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Abundantly Above All We Ask or Think

If you look in the news, you’ll have to search hard to find anything that will bring you hope. Job loss, economic crisis, foreign wars, internal conflicts, all this exists, and very few believe that the oft-touted goal of “world peace” is even achievable. I’m a bit of a skeptic myself, I admit. More “glass half empty” in my view toward the world and strangers I have yet to meet. But you can’t work for the City Rescue Mission, or volunteer here for even a day, without being overwhelmed by the truth that compassion does exist. I wish I could transport everyone to that moment when you’re being run off your feet by people desiring to give to others in need. To be there to scratch your head and wonder where we can put the food that is donated to pack the pantry and fill baskets for those who are struggling this holiday season. We’re all struggling, and that’s the truth. The recession has touched everyone in some way. But when things seem the darkest, that’s when you find the true measure of a person’s character. And the character of a people defines the character of a a nation. From where I sit, we really have very little to worry about.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory..." Ephesians 3:20, 21a

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Can of Pringles

I hope I never stop being surprised by life. Or overcome by generosity. Caught up in joy.

Today, a little girl arrived with her mom. Clutched in her hand was a Pringles can. But the jingle inside wasn't from chips. For the whole of this year, Makayla had collected part of her allowance in that Pringles can. "For the homeless," were the words carefully printed on yellow paper and taped to the side. She was so excited.

"Some of the bills are a little crushed," her mother explained, and the words brought to mind the image of an eight year old carefully counting and re-counting every dollar and every coin, for a whole year.

Earlier this week, another girl named Emily had stopped by to donate money raised from cards she and her sister handmade. A sweet smile on her face, she proudly posed for her picture.

What a blessing to be able to experience their joy and excitement and that innocent pleasure that comes from giving to someone else in need. We are grateful for both these girls, their hard work and sacrifice, and also for their parents, who are teaching them already the lesson of compassion.