What is My Social Responsibility?

I got notice today that I am now a blogging partner with Gospel for Asia.   I'm pretty excited about it, in a solemn way.  I have learned so much this past year about India.  What started as a simple read of a book that was highly recommended by friends turned into a burning desire to go to the "least of these" on a mission trip.  God has been working on my heart and my mind and it has lead me to this point where I feel I must do something or resign myself to living as a hypocrite.  I know too much.

In my searching and researching, I came across another book, "No Longer a Slumdog."  It was written by K.P. Yohannan the founder of Gospel for Asia.  I'll tell you more about that at another time, but as I learned more about K.P. Yohannan's ministry, I discovered a list of ways one can help.  What a wonderful list!  There were many simple things...easy things...on the list that made me feel as though I sincerely could make a difference.  One of them was to become a blogging partner.

Being a blogging partner for Gospel for Asia is not "THE" thing I have decided to do; it is what I know I can do right now.  I don't know where this burning desire to help people, especially children, overseas (or even if it will be overseas) will lead me, but I invite you along with me as I figure it out.  Maybe you'll figure out a few things about yourself.

Here is a post I wrote in November of 2011, just over a year ago.  I entitled it, "Ridiculous Blog Post," because it was a post of a serious nature on a blog that was not.  It was written not long after I read the book recommended to me by my friends.  I have grown much since writing this and I am anxious to share it with you.  

Ridiculous Blog Post

I read a book several months ago called, "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.  Very challenging book.  It left me with a lot of hard questions and really no answers.  There is a part in the book that has haunted me. This isn't a direct quote, but the idea is that we ask God why there are starving children in the world, but perhaps God is asking us the same question.

Hmmm... as I type on my Macbook, listening to one of my 7,000 songs I have purchased throughout the years, my belly full after eating out and trying to ignore the Klondike bars in the freezer while my children lay peacefully in their beds, warm and safe in a house that has plenty of room for every person to have their own space.

My heart begins to accuse me of selfishness and my mind tells me it's OK to have. I don't know if I should sell all I have and give to the poor or be grateful and generous. I don't know what my responsibility is to others in this world whose children are sleeping in a trash heap tonight after eating whatever they could find and drinking water that could possibly kill them.  What am I to do about children in India who are being picked up by evil people who will cut off an arm and a leg of a defenseless child, then send him out to the streets to beg money for his master?  What is my responsibility to the 10 year old girl who is putting on a sexy outfit and makeup, empty inside as she waits for the next man to come into her room?

I want to jump off my couch, get on a plane and go rescue that little child.  All the children. Yes, I want to rescue all of them.

There is a possibility of our family going to India in the future to work in an orphanage.  There are two details that remain to be worked out and that is which orphanage to go to and the other is how-in-the-world-are-we-going-to-get-there? That's a pretty big detail and while there are things that make me hopeful, I'm not counting my chickens (or plane tickets) just yet. In the meantime, I am doing a lot of reading about India and I am realizing something - I am very naive! And that scares me because that means I really don't know what I'm getting myself into.

But the more I find out, the more I feel the need to help. When I read that they are having re-naming ceremonies for girls who were named "Nakoshi", or "Unwanted", at birth, I realize that I have no idea what it is like outside of my own comfortable world.  When I read that India is considered to be the second largest "child flesh" industry hub in the world, I feel sick.  So sick that after my initial physical response, my secondary response is to emotionally turn my head the other way, to go back to my happy place where MY children are safe and MY children are loved, nourished, and wanted.  Yes, just stay here and make sure I do my part by keeping MY children out of harm's way. Good enough.

That lasts for about 5 seconds and then my heart breaks and I feel scared and I feel like I MUST do something.  I must make a difference.

But how? It's too big for just me or even a large group of me's.  Look at all the organizations out there who work and give and give some more and it seems that the problem of poverty and abuse in the world is just as strong as it ever was. What more could I possibly add? After knowing what I know, what is my responsibility?

Should I throw a few more dollars into the offering plate? Fill a few more shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child distribution?  Sponsor a child overseas?  Bring a child into our home and spend the thousands of dollars to adopt them?  Move to India and spend the rest of my life giving a few children an opportunity to get out of the life they currently know?  Start a movement to end it all?  Give my life to affect change in the world?

Do you see where I am going with this?  I could do any one of these things, but what is it that a fellow human being should do?  I'm not asking what's the minimum, I'm asking where does my responsibility to the children of the world start and the responsibility to my own children end?  Should my children have to have a lower level of education so that a child in India can have one?  Should my children go without toys at Christmas so that someone else's children can have dinner on Christmas?  Can someone complete this thought for me because I am having a hard time even forming the question.

God doesn't say that it's wrong to have, but He certainly has a lot to say about having a hard heart toward those who have not.

At this point in my life, I am seriously at a loss. I do not have an answer other than I know I must take care of my own children (how that's defined, I don't know) and that what is expected of each of us is different. Maybe my realm of influence lies right here in my own country. Maybe that's exactly where God wants me and I got lucky because I don't have to go out into a scary world to make a difference. Maybe I am exactly where I can make the most difference. Then again, what if He is asking me to do more than I am willing to do?

I am hoping that a trip to see with my own eyes what life is like outside of the wealthy U.S. of A. will help me process these questions and that my eyes would be open enough to understand the answers.  I hope that one day I will sit down to write another ridiculously serious blog post and be able to tell you that I know exactly what it is that God wants from me and that I will wholeheartedly abandon myself to it, whether it be a stronger commitment to where I am now, a less comfortable way of living, or a life with new horizons and greater sacrifice.

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