The easiest thing to be is a critic.
I have been pondering today a quote from my favorite teacher, because it answers this rampant criticism we are daily inundated with:
“When you give to the needy,
do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
so that your giving may be in secret.”
So to all the right hands out there: *Stands. Slow clap.*
To those of you who have met the boats on Grecian shores. To those who have gathered blankets and shoes and bras and sleeping mats. To those who did your damnedest to get around international shipping laws because this ridiculous bureaucracy was keeping tangible help from those who need it. To those of you who wrote to your Senators, Representatives, Governors, Presidents – demanding that your borders be opened to people fleeing massacre…
To those who were near the victims on those terrible nights, and were able to hold the ones who were attacked. To those who rushed in to stop the slaughter, consequences be damned. To those still daily trying to stem this flow of evil…
To those of you who faithfully and persistently give from your own pockets so that people in a different part of the world can have a better life. To all who have expended time or resource or prayer on behalf of someone other than yourself and haven’t said a thing to anyone else about it…
Because, dear ones, some people who don’t know us will lump us together with a #RedCup pseudo-controversy. You remember, those fifteen minutes where one whack-job got to present himself as our international spokesperson, and all we wanted to do was tell him to sit down and shut up. Because his words painted us as loveless fools – in direct opposition of the One we are meant to represent.
You see, we live in a culture that sincerely believes putting a blue, white, & red filter over a profile photo is a legitimately impactful statement; that this will somehow make a difference in the world. We live in a society in which our country’s solidarity with her allies is expressed by changing some light bulbs on our national monuments.
This is the myopic view of our culture. We the Motel 6 of nations: we’ll turn the lights on for you; but we’re sure as heck not gonna do anything else. Because action is uncomfortable. It requires us to get up from our screens and engage a messy, wounded world full of broken and unpredictable people. People who may actually hurt us, even as we try to help them.
Just like what happened to the One we follow.
So while others are Tweeting rebukes, Insta-ing insults, and Google +-ing historically inaccurate, quasi-intellectual tripe, Right Hands, keep giving. Don’t announce it to the left hands. Turn your cheek as they sit behind their screens and tell you what a poor human being you are. Do not ask them what they have done. For they will have no answer. Except, perhaps, that they changed their profile pictures for a day.
This hurting world needs so much more than criticism. It needs a people of The Way who are called to act.
Right Hands, keep giving from the endless fount of Grace which you have received.