First Impulse

A family unable to make ends meet.  A homeless man perched on his backpack by the road. A teenage mom on her own.  Refugees needing a simple meal. A husband mourning the loss of his wife.  Children devastated by the break-up of a family.

The needs around us are rampant.  What will be our response?

Doubt?  Hesitation?  Judgment?  Looking the other way? Just being too busy?  Fear? Procrastination?  Leaving it for someone else to deal with?   Just not really caring?  Or maybe not even noticing?

Let me tell you about my 4 1/2 year old.  If I mention I’m cold, she rushes to get me a sweater.  If her oldest sister complains that she wants more mac and cheese, she gives her the rest of hers.  If Daddy is sick, she pats his hands, and says, “Poor Daddy.”  If her middle sister mentions she doesn’t have anything to wear, this little gal is quick to offer her own clothes.  If she hears me talking about someone who is sick or sad, she later will bring me a picture she colored for them.  She often tells me that she wants to give away her toys and clothes to kids who don’t have any.  Her sweet sensitivity to others is amazing to me.

I see it day in and day out.  The moment Elizabeth is made aware of a need or desire, her first impulse is to meet that need!   I want to be more like my 4 1/2 year old!  It’s not up to me to decide if the recipient is worthy.  It’s not important for me to know all the details.  It’s not my job to be certain someone understands their wrongdoing in a situation.  It’s not my place to decide what they do or do not deserve.

It’s up to me to “give them something to eat and drink; to provide housing for the stranger; to clothe the naked; to look after the sick; and to visit the imprisoned.”  (Matthew 25:34) It’s up to each of us who claim to be followers of Christ.

What’s your first impulse when you see or hear of a need?  I know what I want mine to be: love, compassion, and generosity, just like my littlest angel.


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