Sunday, July 11, 2010

guest post - Deanne - meeting the needs of others

I can't wait for you to meet Deanne!
She was in my youth group at Peace Lutheran
and really was the driving force behind lots of
the random acts of kindness events that we did.
I knew that she carried that into her everyday life too,
so I asked her to write a little something to share with you all!!!
ENJOY!!
*************************************************************


Let me begin by saying it is quite a privilege to write a guest post on Jamie’s blog. Thanks for asking me to post!

There is nothing but fond memories in my recollection of Peace Lutheran Youth group with Jamie as our leader. We always found creative ways to enjoy life together as a group, and find meaning in the activities we did. I particularly remember our Random Acts of Kindness scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts are always a blast in my humble opinion, but this event was extra fantastic to me.

I lived a conflicted life, of wanting to participate in everything I could and squeeze the juices out of life, but I also felt a deep concern for those who were less fortunate than I. Growing up I knew of the extreme poverty that existed in our neighborhoods, of depression that creeps up on the healthiest of people, of abuse and injustice in our nation and on a global scale. I believed God had a plan, but many times it didn’t seem fair. The Random Acts of Kindness Scavenger hunt was a way to meet my own needs of socialization and laughter, while making a difference in someone’s life at the same time. I remember the confused looks on peoples faces as we offered to help bag their groceries, or gave a beautiful rose to the window clerk at Wendy’s. What if we lived in a world where that is the norm? Where the cashier at Wendy’s felt as worthy as the CEO? Where expressions of generosity and love were not looked at with confusion, but with sincere thanksgiving.

I believe this is the message Jesus came to share: that this type of world is possible. And we, as followers of Christ, are to bring this message of love down to earth. Documented followers of Jesus in the scriptures showed love and compassion to the needy and less fortunate, and respected each other as equal. Following Jesus means striving to live the way He did, and the way God commanded us to. It is about sacrificing our comforts so that our fellow neighbors too can live. This is a difficult calling, but God also promises to be by our side through out it all.

The needy are all around us. The number of needy neighbors is growing rapidly and their needs are deepening. As Mother Theresa said, “Every time you sacrifice something at great cost - every time you renounce something that appeals to you for the sake of the poor - you are feeding a hungry Christ. You are clothing His nakedness. You are offering shelter to a homeless Christ,”. The followers of Jesus, or the church, must face its task. We oppress the poor & needy in holistic ways: through our deeds, our thoughts and attitudes, and through our words or lack of word. As Christians we are to acknowledge those less fortunate than us, avoiding the temptation to look the other direction. We are to take time to get to know the poor and the conditions that contribute to their poverty. We are to mourn with those who are mourning and laugh with those who are laughing. We are to show grace and compassion, as Christ did, in all of our relationships- with our enemies and with our friends and family. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine; you did for me, (Matthew 25:40).

May God infiltrate your heart as you learn more about the great, compassionate, loving God He is. May you never underestimate the far-reaching grasps of His mercy and love. May you spread love to all individuals you come in contact with, because at the root of our human needs love is the deepest.

2 comments:

Kristin Elizabeth said...

Deanne,
This is a new way of looking at random acts of kindness that i have never realized before! I love the quote you used from mother theresa! Thank you for sharing!
Kristin

Deb said...

What a great post. Thank you so much for stopping by Jeremiah 29:11 and commenting on my little owl give-a-way. Hope your week is blessed!!!