I’ve been noticing that there appears a groundswell in discussions on the subject of charity and love with examples in nearly all platforms of the media. I think you may have noticed the same.
Or, is it that since I’ve made this my blog theme, I am simply more attuned? What do you think?
National Day of Kindness
For instance, I noticed that the televised world news this evening, November 13, reported that today is National Kindness Day! I never heard of this before. Is it a new idea or an old one that never garnered much attention? Our local news said that Cleveland ranks 14th among all American cities in kindness. This may seem like a nifty rating to have achieved. I’m marveling that the news comes out just as Congress starts the impeachment hearings on the President. How kind will we be to one another despite our political leanings and concerns? I recall a line from Mark Twain’s novel, Huckleberry Finn, where Huckruminates with Jim, the runaway slave sharing his raft, that the two—a homeless boy and a slave—will encounter many unkind people along their journey. “Human beings,” says Huck, “can be awful cruel to one another.”
Simple, On Point Charity
In a very practical and personal sense, just last week I fell short of my own measure of kindness. One of my housemates was busily preparing for a trip to another suburb where her friend, a retiring pastor, was holding a sale of nearly all his possessions. His parish was at least an hour’s distance from us.
Thinking the priest would have numerous parishioners to assist in preparing signs, setting up tables, and wrapping the treasures, I asked Sister rather tersely: “Why are you helping?”
“Because he needs it.”
Simple. Direct. Charity on-point. Providing help because help is needed.
Do I usually judge the ‘point’ of a charitable deed rather than give without questioning? For instance, do I think twice before handing a donation to a street person in need? Do I conclude that someone does not need my help because he or she gets plenty of help from others? Do I sometimes say, “I’ve done my part.”?
One of the most powerful lessons in the New Testament on the gift of love is in Luke 6: 27-49. We should read it together this week and ponder its many insights. Let me know what you think.