Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Darfur Puppy

I've been reading a lot more about what's going on in this world since starting to work on Inspired to Action.

It's been really good for me. But more about that later.

I came across this editorial as I was doing my reading and research. In a nutshell, it talks about how people are more likely to give to a single and specific person then to a general cause.

It made loads of sense to me.

It's probaby the reason why Compassion International has been successful with child sponsorship programs. Each sponsor is linked to a child they are able to develop a relationship with.

It's all about relationships. If you tell me that over 3,000 people have been killed by a cyclone in Bangladesh, the truth is I'll feel a moment of sorrow but it's not really going to alter the course of my day. But the moment you tell me Shampa has been affected, a little girl I support through Compassion whose letters have challenged and changed me, I become immediately concerned. See, I have pictures of Shampa. I have letters from her. I pray for her. She is a part of my life. I care a million times more.

But it doesn't even have to be that involved. While we watch celebrities make bad decisions and get plastered all over magazines nationwide, we often feel we have the right to comment on their decisions and lifestyle choices. After all, they are a part of our lives, because we know who they are. We own their cd. We saw their movie.

We operate in relationships. God reveals Himself to us through relationships, because He is a relational God. Father. Master. King. Closer than a brother. Lover. Friend.

God put us in relationships here on earth. He set us into families to grow. He gave us each other as brothers and sisters. Oh, the family of God. And He commanded us to be the family for those whose earthly family has failed. Orphans. Widows.

In addiction circles they say it is in relationship that you were broken, and so it must be in relationship that you will heal.

That, I think, is the reason why if you show me a picture of a starving little girl in Africa and tell me her name and ask me to give some money to feed her, my heart will be stirred to give. I now have, however slender and slight, a relationship with that girl. But if you merely ask me to give to end starvation in Africa, I will feel less inclined. It's just another big problem of the many big problems in the world.

So it makes sense. If you want to change the world, and inspire others to do the same, you have to start one relationship built at a time.

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