Something's been bothering me lately.
It's a sentence I read in a book and it's sticking with me. Maybe it will bother you too:
"I'm tired of calling the suffering my 'brothers and sisters' when I'd never allow my biological siblings to suffer likewise."*
It's right up there under the title on my blog... "the adventures of an adoptive family, continuing our commitment to adoption and the needs of our brothers and sisters in Africa..."
I do that. In my efforts to put faces and names to the poor, to the downtrodden, to the oppressed, I call them my brothers and sisters. I want to feel connected to them because my heart is attuned to their suffering.
They don't have coats on their backs, yet I have five just for me in my closet.
I have a biological brother. If he were freezing to death, do you think I'd just let him be, or would I go buy him a coat? Or give him mine? There is no circumstance under which I would allow my brother to be freezing. Or hungry.
But that's what is happening all around me. I pass by folks with signs at every stop light. It was COLD last night. I know there were lots of people in my city with no warm comfy bed with plenty of blankets. And no coats. And I spent the night in my comfy bed with an electric blanket (I'm wimpy, I know it). And those five coats of mine spent the night unworn.
That's not to say we haven't been doing something. We are committed to returning to Swaziland as often as possible. Rob's going this summer. I'm hoping to go next summer. But that's 11 days out of the 365 we are given each year in which we can make a difference.
God's working on my heart, friends.
If I'm going to call them my brothers and sisters, I need to start acting like it. The Cassells are going to be much more active in working with the poor in our community here.
Because Jesus didn't say "give your money to a third-party organization so that they can feed the poor." He told us to do it. He told ME to do it. He knows those relationships can be life-changing (both for them and for me). We will keep giving to the organizations that we always give to, but that's no substitute for action.
So here's my start. The kids & I are going to pick up granola bars, water bottles, and ziploc bags at the grocery store this week. We're going to put together the bags with a bar and a bottle so that we have them ready to hand out at stop lights.
And I'm in active search-mode for opportunities to serve here in Greensboro where my kids can come along.
Thank you, Jesus, for that nudge in just a small sentence in a book.
** the book is 7 by Jen Hatmaker. You will be hearing much more about it in the very near future!