Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Greater Purpose

Since our first short term trip here I have been confronted and conflicted with how to deal with needs. How to help and it really be a long term help, how not to get taken, how not to be calloused, how to deal with not being able to meet them all, and what kind of help is needed versus sometimes what is requested.
When I get a good handle on it I will be sure to let you know.
Much like the media sensation in NYC recently where a NYPD officer was photographed giving a $100 pair of shoes to a homeless man that was barefoot.
It looked great...felt good. We all smiled at this tender hearted policeman.
At the same time though....I wondered, with no joy at the thought, but I wondered.
Then I saw the follow-up story this week, reporting that the homeless man (an army veteran whose name is Jeffery Hillman) is still barefoot. He has hidden those very expensive shoes, as they are worth too much money, he says his life would be in danger. He is grateful and wishes there were more people like the officer in the world, as well as wonders with all this publicity where his piece of the pie is.
And then the story adds... “Hillman's brother Kirk lives in Nazareth, Pa., and according to the Daily Mail had not heard from since January. "We love our brother very much," Kirk Hillman told the Daily News. "Our door is always open to him, but this is a lifestyle he's chosen." Mr. Hillman actually has an apartment that is paid for by a combination of rent vouchers, Social Security, and military veteran benefits, but lives on the street.
Not all homeless choose to live that way, not all situations are black and white. Not all economically poor just need money or stuff to fix their situation. How to be a good steward and help...tough business.
Life is not a fairy tale. God does not say that working all this out will be easy. Figuring out what the best way is to really help people is hard sometimes, and hard on those that want to help.
So why do it? The Bible commands it. If you need additional motivation...focus not on the possible negatives, but the huge positives that are possible when in faith you step out of what is comfortable. If your motivations are right, then the outcome being positive or negative is not as important. We can not control all the outcomes. We plan, we try to be as wise as serpents but innocent as doves, we try to do the best and not just do the quick fix if a longer term one is what is needed.
We do what we can, responsibly of course...prayerfully of course, but the rest is out of our hands.
That is scary...especially knowing we serve a long term God.

So this post is to encourage encourage me to be bluntly push forward, keep going, keep praying and looking at the opportunities God is giving you, and not be weighed down by the ones we miss, screw up, or don’t feel we did “right.”  Focusing on those, and Lord knows there are plenty....focusing on that, and making comments like my last one there, are a tactic from the enemy to discourage us, to get us looking in the wrong direction.
Soli Deo Gloria  


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