Recently, I found myself sitting at a meeting where we were trying to address the needs of our community and how we could help. After hearing and helping create a list of people we need to address and needs that need to be considered I felt like we had it all wrong. Why were we the one's in the room wanting to help, why not those who needed help. And how would I feel if people were planning how to help me? What might be needed is not help, but better pay, more work, ways for people to find their way to make it themselves and in turn be in the seat to offer to help others.
We were talking about ways to help, but never looked at why taxes were so high, why wages so low, why drugs use was so rampant. Was the ability and need to help, helping us more than it might help someone else?
From this train of thought I began thinking that perhaps the driving force of the church to reach out and help, to give money and support to those in need might in fact be more of a diversion from faith, than an expression of faith.
We need to help, we need to speak up, we need to be silent, we need to pray, we need to be engaged; but all our needs need to come from our response and faithful relationship with God. We need to ask the questions about why we are doing what we are doing. We need to wonder when we are going astray, and why is it we need to be the one's always giving and helping - not the one's needing help and receiving.
We have been helping in Haiti for years, maybe the help of the churches is not really helping as needed. How can a culture of receiving become the culture that is teaching, helping and offering missionaries to the United States. It might be time to turn things around.
Simply put: are we helping out, giving and trying to make a difference because we feel we have to or should do such as christians, or because we feel that the actions we are taking are specific actions God is calling us to make?