Monday, September 12

Doing Good Involves a Little *Doing*


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We live in a culture and in an economy that sometimes overlooks the value in simply doing good.
The parents of Little Leaguers turn a ball game into a bar-room brawl. The checkbook says it's impossible to give back. The hours in the day are often too few to really invest the kind of time we'd like to spend helping others. All the obligations within our own homes sometimes make it feel like we have nothing left to give to anyone we're not bound to by blood.

Which is exactly why Jeremy and I try to have an on-going conversation about servant-hood, stewardship, compassion, and grace with the Bees. Every time we pull to the side of the road to let an ambulance or fire truck pass with its lights flashing, we say a prayer for whoever is in need, and for the responders who are on their way to help. Each time my husband rolls down his window to hand a five dollar bill to someone holding a sign, we talk about how God calls us to love each other. Whenever we excavate under the kids' beds and find toys we haven't seen in six months, we put them in a bag and take them to a local battered women and children's ministry. All those free samples of formula and diapers we got each time we left the hospital with a new baby? Went straight to a ministry devoted to teaching families how to be families. With every new season and every few inches my children grow, their clothes are donated to Soul Food Cafe, which in turn hands them out free of charge.

photo credit
These are little things, tiny things, that barely interrupt the flow of our abundant days. But we are teaching our kids to be mindful of the world and the people around them. They are learning to extend a hand to people in their own community, but also around the world. Each Christmas, we buy animals from Heifer International, not to build a farm in our own backyard, but to teach a family half the world away to care for livestock, and to give them a way to make a living where before there was no way.

And still, there is more we can do.

There is always so. much. more. One Thanksgiving, we loaded up a shopping cart with food that would make for a delicious meal, then donated all of it to a local church who would be feeding the hungry. But we haven't done it since. We could, if we would take the time to do it. Driving by the Habitat for Humanity village, and explaining the work they do for our neighbors in town, is not the same as taking my children to a work day, and handing them a brush and a bucket of paint. Taking five boxes of macaroni and cheese to church once a month is not nearly as effective as having the kids hand out the boxes on Tuesday mornings at Soul Food.
Max & the Toronto Blue Jays' Habitat story here.

We tell the Bees about doing good, but what good is it if we don't show them? If we don't train them to see ways to help someone else, every day, how will they know what to look for?

It is so easy to overlook the pain and the need that permeates the world around us. It is harder to do something about it.

What can you do today to make your small slice of the world better? How can you initiate a shift in your own thinking, in your own actions?








Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

1 comment:

  1. I do not do or give nearly as much as I could, I know this. While Brad and I have enough, we could easily give money, but who couldn't use more money in the 401K? Or a night out? Instead, I try to give my time when I can. I give my skills. Right now I'm refinishing a second piece that will be auctioned off for Habitat for Humanity. I have the extra time and it's something I enjoy doing. I remember when I was freelancing at Stone Ward I mentioned wanting to help and the point was made that by creating good ads (that were done pro bono) we were donating a skill that would help generate more money than we could ever give ourselves. This has sat with me ever since. I guess that it's a fairly painless way to give but still has a major impact.

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