When I think of what it means to be poor, I think of how I grew up, and the childhood through which I lived. I very rarely slept on anything other than a bare mattress as a kid, remember many Christmases where toys were brought to our door, and living on boxes of Raisin Bran cereal for weeks on end because a huge box of it was given to us by the local food pantry. Most the time I didn’t have shoes to wear, all the clothing I needed, or very many toys, but does it bother me now that I missed out on those things? Not really. The ability to live compassionately for those who are impoverished keeps me from feeling that way.
This is not a story about “look how far I have come, and now I am rich!” I do not really care for that kind of story, because I do not think that kind of story interests God very much. No matter how much or how little I have, every last part of it is Gods, and I will find ways to give to others and be generous regardless of my personal status of wealth. The more I have in my life, the more God impresses upon me that I need to give back. It is all just stuff, after all.
Have I given as much as I think I should give? Not all the time. I feel guilty because I feel like my life is so busy, so crazy with scheduling, church activities, and children’s school activities that I do not really have time to help anyone else. This really makes me sad, and when I find the opportunity to give, I do.
When all is said and done, how are we all living out God’s calling to serve and love the poor and widowed? I pray that every one of us never settles for doing as little as we can… I pray we attempt to do more than what we ever thought possible.