I spent today mostly doing what I normally do on my days off. I woke up at 6, read for a while, watched some TV, and then I had breakfast with my parents. Since I am genetically incapable of sleeping in past 9 am, I never worry about early morning weekend shifts because, let’s be honest, if I didn’t have to work, I’d be up watching episodes of Chelsea Lately on my DVR. The latter part of the day I decided go shopping to purchase a few odds and ends to send away, courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse, a charity founded by Dr. Bob Pierce, and headed by Franklin Graham.
From the very start, I was completely neurotic about the entire thing. I started shopping two weeks ago, and was amazed at how I managed to apply my first-world thinking to my purchasing choices. I had my two boxes packed for weeks…and then decided that nothing I bought was “good enough” and started from scratch. (As if children from third world countries are silently judging me for buying them Laurentien coloured pencils instead of Crayola!) My perspective changed when I was reminded of a fourth grade assignment in which our class had to choose what we would give to children in third world countries. (I wrote about it here.)
In the end, I bought hard candy (individually wrapped and in a resealable bag), socks, T-shirts, cars, notebooks, pencils, pens, coloured pencils, a flashlight and toothbrushes.
Most children in my city would scoff at my gifts, so it’s a good thing I’m not buying for them. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘To whom much is given, much is required” and since I’ve been blessed with an abundance of riches, I have no choice, but to share what I have with others. When I checked the Samaritan’s Purse website for gift ideas, I stumbled across their gift catalogue. I found out that I could buy someone a goat (or four chickens) for just $40.
I have always wanted to buy someone a goat. I would love to visit a third world country, meet a family in need, and say, “OK, let’s go to the market. I’m buying you a goat.” (And then I’d shout throughout the neighbourhood, Oprah-style, “And you get a goat! And you get a goat! Everyone in the village is getting a brand new goaaaaaaat!”
That would be amazing.
I have a tendency to be self-absorbed and miserly, so this philanthropic side of me is a complete shock. In a few months, I went from giving nothing and keeping everything, to giving without being asked. The reason? I would want someone to care enough to do the same for me.
Anyone can give with expectations, but it takes a lot of character to give, knowing that the person you’re giving to will never be able to pay you back. I hope the children who get my gifts will enjoy them. Not only do I want them to be enjoyed, but I want them to be cherished. It seems as though those of us who have the most value what we have the least. This weekend, as malls all over North America, are filled with frenzied shoppers, be sure to take the time to bless someone else. Either with your time, your talents, or through your giving.
Any blessing you present to someone else will return to you.
Happy Saturday 🙂
P.S. If you feel inclined to buy someone a goat (or four chickens), go to samaritanspurse.org in the U.S., and samaritanspurse.ca in Canada 😀