I'm not really sure what "normal" means. Is there anyone that can truly define that word? I know that it means usual or average, but average by who's standard? Mine? His? Hers?
Whatever the case may be, my life has a thin layer of normalcy for the first time in a month. I am thankful for that. I need it.
I'm also thankful for the crush of projects -- new photo church directory, school collection this weekend, Christmas dinner planning(yes already!), choosing people to fill church positions, a free community BBQ and quite a few more projects -- that I have started at church. They have been occupying my mind to a certain degree and have stolen some time from me. It would have been time that I would have spent drenched in the thoughts that swirl around in my head.
The more I do, however, the more I am feeling that I am not truly fulfilling my needs. My heart and soul lies in mission work. It is one of the things that truly makes me happy and makes me feel useful. But there is something missing...
My contentment lies in being totally hands on. I like getting my hands dirty. I like serving people. I like to sweat while doing something that makes a difference to someone.
So now I am searching for mission trips that our church can take. My pastor presented one to me and I am itching to do it! A group of us would pool money together to take a trip to the Appalachians where we would help rebuild homes for people that cannot afford to do it on their own. The people in this certain area are poorer than poor and need the help.
This is what I want to do. I want to travel and help. I want to be completely hands on. I want to get dirty and go to bed at night tired. I want to do this, but... getting people that would be willing to join me and my pastor could prove to be difficult.
Well, I have found that there are a kazillion people in this world that are more than willing to donate $5.00 or $25.00 for a cause, and honestly feel they are making a difference. They are making a difference, but more of a difference can be made by lifting a finger to help. More of a difference can be made by changing someone's life for the better.
I have asked countless times over the years for people to help get their hands dirty -- to help serve meals or to spend an hour outside a store for a collection. I can honestly say that very few have offered up their services and their time.
They are afraid.
It is easier to donate money. A person does not have to look into the eyes of one who is hungry. A person that donates does not have to sit and interact with people who are less fortunate. A person that donates does not have to listen to stories of a person's downfall, his problems with obtaining medical care or finding a place to live.
It's easier when the cause you are donating to doesn't have a face that you can look into.
Giving of oneself is incredibly selfish. There I said it. It's true.
People do not understand that giving of oneself can leave them feeling good about themselves. If a person were to help serve at the BBQ I'm putting together, he/she would leave there feeling like they have done something important. To lend to that feeling is the words of "thanks" spoken by those that come for a meal.
Selfishness. Giving is selfish, but it is a selfish act that can be a gift from Heaven for someone.
I have a few events coming up. Saturday is a school supply collection for families that cannot afford school supplies. In two and a half weeks is a community BBQ. The third week of November is a food collection. December 25th is the 3rd Annual Free Community Christmas dinner.
So.. who wants to volunteer to help? Who wants to get their hands dirty? Who is willing to sacrifice an hour or two or three of their time for the benefit of another human being? Who wants to be selfish with me?