Reaping Up Before the JonesesRich Stigall
Life comes with all sorts of expectations, doesn’t it? At GO Project, we often reflect on how caring for hurting children and families serves as a challenge to our expectations and a purification of the heart. We know this to be true purely by self-reflection: it is a constant challenge to our choices and lifestyles. Yet, we also observe this power in the works of the heart of others, and when a new heart is the result, new eyes are also borne.
Patrick Johnson and his wife Jennifer communicated this very idea in a recent email to us. Patrick and Jennifer long to meet needs as distributed through The Care Portal, and they noticed a trend of requests for baby beds and twin beds. As they were driving through their new neighborhood, they saw a toddler bed and accompanying mattress on the curb, with an attached sign saying “free”. For Patrick, a fleeting moment of discomfort occurred as the weight of appearances began to bear down. Yet, Patrick measured the opportunity before him, and three observations struck him.
1) Thankfulness for my wife’s compassionate heart. She is always on the lookout to bless someone.
2) How the stupidest things get in the way of my meeting others needs. Since we just moved here 8 weeks ago and the street where we got the bed wasn’t our street I have NO CLUE who our neighbors are. So why should I feel shame at all for picking up the free bed? That’s just dumb.
3) How being a part of the Care Portal helps us be more aware and intentional about meeting needs. We would never have thought about this free bed if not for CP [The Care Portal]. And we wouldn’t experience the joy of giving it away either.
We’re grateful to Patrick and Jennifer for their willingness to share their story. It’s a raw, often unexpressed reality about the challenges we face in our giving. It’s a larger tale of fighting the expectations of a society that identifies on appearance and pleasure. I read a book once that discussed being aliens in the world. Living counter-culture is doing just that.
We stand with you, Patrick! Buck the weight of self-imposed societal strain! And in doing so, may you reap a bounty of glory for the Lord, providing testimony to your neighbors of new eyes to see and of a church dedicated to the welfare of a hurting world. With those new eyes, we pray that you will continue to see: to see the brokenness and burdens of lives before you and the opportunities that lay in your midst.