Last night at lad’s church we talked about the recent Earthquake that has hit Haiti, and of course the issues about what we can do to help those who have suffered the most.
Here in the west we see and hear on a very regular basis that the response to issues like this is to give money to the charities who are carrying out the immediate work. The celebrities come out of the wood work and ask us to ‘give what we can!’ Well I wonder if this is actually more insulting than giving nothing?
You see the original meaning of the English word Charity is from the Late Latin caritas meaning “generous love”, from Latin carus “dear, beloved”. In the bible the word is used as a synonym for Love, which was the Greek Word agape. Meaning divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love.
This type of Charity therefore speaks not of giving what ever you can afford, but giving what you cannot afford, give until it hurts and then some more!!!! In this county the word charity is associated with shops that sell a load of old, broken stuff, and people asking for money. Charity is more than giving money its about cost to the giver, its about love.
Yes the people who are suffering in Haiti need our money, but they also need more than that, they also need our unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love. What that will look like for each of us will be different and so it should be, because we all have our own gifts and talents that will allow those people in need to know and feel this unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love, in many different ways. And for many years to come !!! This is more than about just a quick fix solution.
Put it this way, what do you want more than anything else in life? For me it is to know that I am loved…. And for me that is what my faith gives me, when I am in need does God give me the spare change out of his pocket? No he has gone all out and continues to do so to let me know I am loved!!