Sunday, July 31, 2011

What defines me?

I was going to write this blog three weeks ago. But I stewed and simmered on my feelings and it never happened. The subject matter has been lurking on the edges of my mind. I suppose life has convenient and subtle ways of keeping us from confronting those issues that would define us. You may call "life" what you will- busyness, distractions, Satan, doing the "good" while sacrificing the "best"...there are a lot of definitions. But they add up to the same place for us all- stopping us from changing the world.

Three weeks ago on a Sunday I had one of those defining days- I could move forward same as before but I wouldn't be the same person because of the experiences and knowledge learned. I'd like to tell you about it.

Every Sunday afternoon our church has a food bank ministry that distributes food bags to the needy and homeless at a school off Colfax in Denver. I'm sure I didn't get the description exactly right, but you get the idea. This has been going on for years now. The ministry is called The Net and there is a big truck to haul all the food. If you live on this side of town you might have seen the truck before. Lots of people work each week to make this happen. There is a message given and the kids sing, color and do crafts. The recipients of the food also get an opportunity to talk to team members about their lives, their needs and concerns that go beyond the physical need for food.

I have wanted to help with this ministry in the past. I'd even gotten really close to going a few times. But I let life get in the way. Sometimes I get migraines on Sundays. Other times the third Sunday, the day our friends help out, would sneak up on me and we would have a million other plans. But let's be honest here- there is a lazy and vile mentality whispering in our minds telling us someone else will help or there will be always be another day to show up. Sad truth is those whisperings were probably the biggest factor keeping me away for so long.

But on that Sunday, everything fell into place and I couldn't say no. Well, of course I could have, but Maise and Ainsley wanted to help, and what parent in their right mind would tell their kid, "No you can't go help needy people because Mommmy wants to go home and take a Sunday afternoon nap." Ouch. But my excuses from all the weeks past really sounded that heartless and stupid in that moment. So we went.

I felt very clumsy at first. I didn't know the routine and kept dropping things. There was an efficiency and beauty about it all that did not include me yet- I was the outsider. My girls picked it right up. I finally found a rhythm that didn't embarrass me and actually got the bags filled without squishing anything.

There is a lot more I could share from that afternoon, but some moments are meant to be cherished and kept close to the heart, even for a writer. I found an organization that connected with my heart though, and I will be back. I believe love should be lived out as tangible acts and I feel helping those around us is vital- as much for us as for those we are helping. It sets us free from the selfishness and materialism that would consume us whole. I know I have failed miserably at this in the past.

I feel my writing is heavy and clunky today. This is tough subject matter. I feel shame for all those wasted moments when my selfishness and apathy have kept me from helping those around me. I have hope for making wiser choices in the future. But I fear the cares and concerns of life...and selfishness...will choke my good intentions for the future. I realize the struggle will always be there for all of us to put ourselves first. We must fight against this.

Something else happened that Sunday. But I will share that in my next blog. This is enough intensity for today.

Thank you for reading dear reader. :)

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