“Write an essay on what you would like to change about your school or community”.This was the instruction from a teacher to my grand-daughter Kara. Here is what she wrote (bullet points are mine):
• “If I could change one thing about my community I would make a group for underprivileged or alienated people. Many people miss out on things because of money or some other issue at home. If we started a fundraiser we could create a big group for the underprivileged and let them experience things they mostly couldn’t.
• Some people don’t have family to spend their holidays with: so we could make a big feast and eat and just hang out or give them something they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford. Maybe someone’s always wanted to go to church but they couldn’t get a ride or were scared to go: we could get a group of people together, pick them up, and go to church together every Sunday.
• People that feel like they’re different from others have low self-esteem and don’t have the confidence to go outside their comfort zone and try to do things they usually wouldn’t do. If we had a group of people that all felt the same they would have nothing to be scared of. Nobody would judge them, as they are all going through the same thing, and they could all just be themselves. This boost of confidence would help them feel like they’re not different, they aren’t alone, and they could have fun too.
• I feel like if we got a group like this going, there would be more happy people in our community. This would make our community an even better place than it already is”.
This comes from the heart…..of a 16-year old. I think Jesus would commend Kara for her sensitive and unselfish heart-dream.
Do we have a similar heart for others?
The point seems to be (1) to be aware and not judge the underprivileged, the alienated, those who are bullied, those who are different, the unconfident, and those who lack self-esteem, and (2) to do something about it.
Part (1) is easy unless we close our mind and refuse to see the opportunities.
Part (2) is harder, but here are a few examples from my circle of friends:
• A Pentecostal friend rides with a group of bikers and delivers clothes to the homeless every Saturday evening.
• A Lutheran friend drives a bus to take Afghan immigrants to church on Sunday mornings.
• A Methodist friend regularly helps out an underprivileged player on her son’s basketball team (absentee dad, mom is ill, no money to buy even an ice-cream after the game).
• A Baptist friend sends money to Africa to care for malnourished children, nutrition training for mothers, and agricultural tools (165 million children are stunted from chronic hunger across the world).
Is Kara just dreaming? No…..her caring action in regard to an autistic boy has already been documented.
But dreaming is important. Do we still dream? Dreaming is where the heart can start to conceive something bigger or better. Please Kara, keep on dreaming, for it encourages us all to look for opportunities like you speak of.
And one day wheels will start to grow under your dreams…….
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it…..Begin it now (Goethe).
When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just (Jesus in Luke, chapter 14).
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