small things with great love (2)

Every month Mike and I try to give away a portion of our income. You know, the whole tithing thing… except we give to other organizations than our church. Now, I have mixed feelings about “charity”, but I do want my money and resources to get to those who need it more than me. I may be idealistic, but I love the image in Acts 4:34-35:

There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

I wanted to move away from giving to big organizations and charieties and caring for the needs of those around me- an experiment in doing small things with great love.

A group of friends and I decided to do a fundraiser/awareness night for youth homelessness in Chicago, and invited a homeless youth to come and speak. She had just moved into a transitional housing program for homeless teens a week before and was 8 months pregnant. At the fundraiser she shared her story and her hopes for the future, and I realized she probably wasn’t fully prepared for the baby. We talked, and I offered to help her get some things for her baby.

She sent Mike and I a list,  and we spent a few weekends making trips to baby resale shops, target, and even found an awesome stroller/carseat combo on eBay. Then, just a few days before she was due, we made a trip to her place and dropped it all off. When we got there we found out that she needed help putting together a crib she was given. It was probably 30 years old and was missing all of it’s screws. We made a group run to Home Depot, got the parts we needed, and then went back to her place to put together the puzzle of a crib.

Funny thing was, by the time we were done, it wasn’t the big amounts of baby stuff we had gotten that mattered, but the time we spent with her putting her crib together, and the fact that we even cared in the first place. It’s the small things, with great love, that often matter- not the expensive things, not the big sacrificial things, but the little things. Helping a girl due in 3 days put together a monstrosity of a crib.

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