The Donation Box

I had the opportunity earlier this week to go visit a ministry in an inner-city neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama.  This was a ministry that does many things to help the people of this neighborhood, but the main focus of the area of the ministry which we were partnering with was tutoring students after school.  These students ranged from early elementary through high school students.  These kids did not have anyone in their families that could help them with their homework and answer questions about basic subjects.  This was really eye opening to me.  When you grow up in a relatively well-to-do suburb of a medium sized city with parents who both have college degrees, you seem to assume that everyone’s situation is similar to your own since all of your friend’s families had similar situations.  I was really saddened and shocked at what I discovered on the trip across town.  The saddest part which impacted me the most, however, was not the people or the situation itself but rather a box that I saw in the corner of the donation room.  It was a box from a mega-church in the suburbs that is very well known.  The box was filled with tons of toys for the kids, but these toys were not what you would expect.  These toys were not something that any of the mega-church’s kids would ever play with because they were ragged and dirty.  They were the trash of the mega-church kids, but instead of giving them to the garbage man, they decided to give them to the poor kids to which this ministry seeks to impact.  The box was filled to the brim with these toys with a note on the front saying “Love, The Mega-Church.”  Is this truly love?  Do any one of us show our love for someone else by giving them our trash?  This was so sad and convicting to me at the same time.  The church that has it all and can give it all gives something that costs them nothing.  This is so often how each one of us, myself included, views giving to others.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in all areas of our lives including giving to the “least of these” as Jesus called us to in the Sermon on the Mount.  My hope and prayer is that we would embrace not just the proclamation of the gospel, but the giving of the gospel so that all may taste the goodness of Jesus Christ through our lives.  We are blessed as Abraham was to in turn be a blessing to the nations!  Let us bless well for the glory of our Savior!