For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
I think that my post yesterday may have come off as harsh, possibly as judgmental. That was not my intended tone, but that happens sometimes when I get really bothered by something. I suppose that was my soapbox, so to speak.
I did not intend to say that at all times we must give until it hurts. Certainly even Mother Teresa slept, rested, prayed.
And we all have seasons in which we can do more than in others. That's what I love about the above scripture verse. It is a reminder that we can not live life the same way every day, nor every week, nor month, nor year. When I am ill, I can not think of doing anything beyond getting from sun up to sun down.When my children are ill, the same goes. When I am really down, I have to depend on someone else to help. That is my season to receive, not to give. When we have lost a loved one, we receive prayers, visits, food. When we have not, we give those things. When times are tight, financially, we pinch, and if we have to, we ask for help. When we have extra, we give.
I suppose my point was, asking for help, and expecting a handout are two different things. As are helping, and giving until it hurts.
It is often very, very difficult to ask for help, especially if one has been most self-sufficient as an adult. We all know someone who is always dependent (that is tiresome), and we all know someone who physically hurts when forced to be dependent.
There is redemption in giving, as well as receiving. The giver wins and the receiver wins, but only when both acts are made in charity.
Have you ever had a child who was angry and begrudgingly accepted a treat offered? He or she did it with displeasure, with resentment, not with love? It's not very pretty. It is always beautiful to have acts of charity accepted lovingly, and it is always beautiful to lovingly receive acts of charity. Know what I mean? It's a win, win.
Anyway, just wanted to clear that up. And to say, every act of charity doesn't have to hurt. You can do nice things when you can. If that is a simple as pushing a shopping cart into the store since you're going in anyway, do it. If it means making an extra loaf of bread or doubling a pot of soup for a friend who is feeling down, do it. Or cleaning up some shoes and clothes and taking them to someone who needs them.
If we take ours eyes from ourselves for just a moment, and we make those moments more frequent...one day we will be on the path of the saints.
Charity is the form, mover, mother and root of all the virtues.
- Saint Thomas Aquinas