I was able to get out today and see some sweet, dear, friends of mine. We celebrated what God is doing in our Chrysalis community and prayed for discernment of the future of our community. More importantly, we worshiped together. Our time in preparation was too short and we are dealing with an assortment of emotions for what we have lost. Yet, I saw so much joy and love in that room where we were gathered that I can’t help but think I am richer for the experience.
That brings me to the rest of my day. After visiting a local hobby store and finding more than I needed, I headed on home to keep myself company. After eating lunch and cuddling a couple of lonely kitties, I began checking my email. Although it is almost mid-summer plans are in full swing for a local charity that helps children with back-to-school items. One of my emails was from a volunteer requesting help with clothing for the children. What struck me about this email was the reminder that with the present economy situation there will more children to help than in the past, and less resources available. We have seen people in the church community seeking help with limited incomes. Several families are dealing with high medical bills or job loss. Others have significant credit card debt. Many people live on limited incomes from retirement sources that have taken a hard hit in the stock market. We are all in some form of “financial crisis”. Now I wonder, how are we as people of faith called to respond to the needs of our community? to the elderly and children? to the strangers and the hungry?
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:21
Let me go back to my sweet sisters that I met with this morning. The example these women shared with me is the path we could all follow in understanding the call to respond to those in need. You see, today we met to say good-bye for now to each other. These women spent the past two months (some much longer!) preparing to serve God on a special retreat. They met on a regular basis for hours at a time, they prayed for each other and for God’s will to be done, they laughed together, sang together, worshiped together, cried together, ate together, supported and loved each other. Each member gave generously from her heart out of her love for Christ. And today it all ended. Our plans and preparations were interrupted by God’s perfect will and his perfect plan. And isn’t that the way things are supposed to be?
If we are a part of the body of Christ, then is the present economy of the world what we should be focused on? Where we can look for all of our needs to be met is at the cross of Christ. I read this quote recently (from I don’t know who!)”Your money follows your heart. Yet you can bring your heart—and thereby your life—closer to God by reallocating your treasure from earthly possessions to eternal blessings. Giving shifts your focus from internal to external … to eternal.”
In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”” (8:12-15) This scripture speaks to me and tells me, it is time to clean out a closet and pass along those possessions I do not have need for. It’s also time for me to forego that cup of coffee and pick up a couple of cans of soup for the local food pantry. And it is certainly time for me to thank God for his blessings and provision of all of my needs.