Love, Compassion and Thanksgiving
I got lost somewhere, in the day to day banality of the COVID lifestyle and the rush and excitement of the traveling and things that I have done in the midst of it where I lost sight of my blog. I have so many things to say, but today, as we are coming up on Thanksgiving, I want to talk about something that has always made me happier, more grateful, and feel more valued.
Some people have such a knack for talking about the charitable work they do and it comes across as ambassadorship and encouragement. Others sound pompous and self-congratulatory. I fear the latter so I don't often share the details of the charitable work or giving that I do, but rather do it in silence because I do not want praise for what I believe is my Christian duty.
However, I like to shed light on the organizations that I have put my trust in, that I believe are doing incredible good, to be a witness not only for them but the people they are helping. Very little that I have ever done has blessed me back in the way that giving back to others has. The two organizations I am thinking about today are Project Love Love and Compassion International.
I have always believed charity should begin at home. We need to - as individuals and not by government mandates! - look after our families and our communities. When our communities suffer it affects us all, and when it thrives is benefits us all and is a reflection of our love. That is why I am so proud of my dear friend Lisa and her non-profit organization Love Love. Supporting this organization, which benefits those in need right here in Fort Worth, has been incredibly rewarding to me. I recently served with Lisa and her volunteers in Fort Worth and as it always is when doing this type of work it was so humbling and gives us so much cause to realize all that we have. Moreover, it gives us such a sense of compassion for our fellow humans - because I, too, am but one moment of adversity, one bad decision, one causality of a bad economy away from being in absolute need myself. But for the grace of God, and not of my own merit in any way, go I.
I have gotten to know Lisa at various functions and now moreso through our mutual fitness journey, but it is seeing her lead and serve through Love Love that just makes me fall in love with her as a person. Watching her work and speak with people, she is the manifestation of love. She is kind. She is humble. She is extremely faithful in her stewardship and what she is being called to do. Supporting her organization makes me thankful and happy and reflective and humbled all at once. I am thankful for all that I have when I see those in need, but even more, I am thankful for the love that we can give and show and get by serving others.
The other organization that has been on my mind is Compassion International. Almost exactly twelve years ago I got involved in child sponsorship through this organization when I sponsored a little 5-year-old boy named Sebastian. That little boy is nearly a grown man now, and over the years I have seen his maturity through his letters, I have seen his needs change, I have seen his thankfulness, I have seen his appreciation for life. I not only sponsor him but also another boy named Napoleon who is also now 17 years old and a new, recent sponsorship of a little girl named Maame. These children throughout the world that live in poverty are at such terrible risk. So many of them meet tragic ends or they go through life with no skill, no hope and simply perpetuate their misfortune on another generation. Compassion not only gives tangible aid, but it gives hope, it gives love, it builds something brighter to break these children free.
This was on my mind because I just received new pictures of Sebastian and was amazed by how much he has grown. The tiny little boy with the giant childish handwriting is gone and here is a nearly grown man. With a purpose and with hope. And if anything I've done, any words I've written, any support I have provided has played a role in that then it is me who is blessed beyond what words can describe.