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Thursday, February 24, 2011
"I can't do everything but I refuse to stand by and do nothing"
I recently heard this well said phrase at a concert. Do you ever watch the news or drive by the homeless shelter as they line up in the evening and feel a bit hopeless? I feel that way sometimes especially when I see or hear about kids and animals. Yup, the ASPCA commercials with the music in the background make me cry... every time. Every Thursday night I go to work and I drive by a shelter around the time they line up to get in for the evening and I see kids who look hungry and dirty and sad and uncertain and I cry every time. I'm so thankful for all we have and being able to provide for my own children. Being thankful doesn't seem like enough though. I wish I could wipe out poverty. I wish I could take all those kids and hug them and give them stability somehow and let them know that God loves them and there are people who care. I wish I could take all the animals away from their abusive homes and give them loving homes. The wild animals who get wiped out, disability rights, stories on the news about kids who die at the hands of the parents they are supposed have been able to trust... I don't understand it all. I don't understand why some of these things have to happen and as a human I don't understand why God doesn't just step in somehow. I know from experience that abused children are not immune to pain and they feel it in spite of my most heartfelt wishes that there would be some super natural protection. I can also say from experience that I at least was not alone, God was with me and in the hardest times I did get a bit of super natural love and protection. I also know that protection doesn't come for everyone.
These are some things that break my heart and some days (most days) I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that bad things don't happen in my world. Actually, this was my favorite approach until I heard that quote at a concert. That line and the song that went with it gave me some encouragement that I wanted to pass it along. Little by little we all can do some bit of good to improve things around us. I am by no means a superhero but I can do little things. I don't have much to give but I can and do give my time and love and a little bit of physical provision. You never know how your gift will touch someone or how they may pass it along.
As a family we prefer to give in secret so I doubt we will ever know how or if we have done much good but it's better than doing nothing.
Is it enough?
Well, am I doing all I can do with what I have? The answer is yes. We aren't perfect but we do try to do our best and I do believe that we are doing what we can for others with all that we are given. Mother Theresa said "if you can't feed a million then feed just one" I like that and I like that maybe my little bit plus your little bit plus someone else adds up to more than if I just sit here and do nothing with my head in the sand.