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October 24, 2010


Shayla Story

Andrew as I was perusing through the site I came upon your post, obviously, and I think what you present is valid. I'm unsure if there is a 'right' choice when it comes to an issue like poverty.

While we're all called as Christians to love one another, and care for the poor, I think it's important to also realize that it may not be our strength. Love them, sure, but take full responsibility, that may not be the path you're personally supposed to take. We've all been blessed with strengths. Speaking, writing, loving, preaching, whatever the case may be, but we have areas that weigh heavier than others.

I've always had this personal struggle with not wanting to go into mission work. When I was in high school, people would always come to my church and talk about the importance of missions, needing to go out and make fishers of men. I'm not sure about others but I couldn't hook a fish even if I was the worm. It never appealed to me. I had friends who would jump at the chance to go travelling in Africa, or jump on the next plane to Russia and work with orphans. Don't get me wrong, my heart goes out to them, but now in my third year of college I recognize that's not where my passion lies. I think the same is true when it comes to dealing with the poor.

See Mother Theresa gave her life for the poor. I'm not sure if you've read up on this amazing woman, (you should, if you haven't) but her life wasn't easy. Every step of the way she was dealing with her own personal struggles, but felt called to this life-altering, heart giving cause. It was something that she didn't have to think about.

While your heart may strain for those that you see in distress, and for that it shows great character, maybe it's not your personal calling. What's wrong to you could be right to someone else. So I'm glad you opted to go bowling and build community with your church group. If God wants that ex-con to really be touched by His love, He'll open up tons of opportunities.

I know we've been told since youth that being a Christian is tough, and it's the narrow path. That you won't always be happy. Some Christians are miserable. But I don't think that's Christ's overall hope. Enjoy the gifts He's blessed you with. Life will be tough but it doesn't mean you have to give up everything you enjoy. So please acknowledge those that are homeless or poor, talk to them, heck, shake their hand, but don't second guess yourself. You're doing what you're suppose to do, what's best for you, and if the big guy upstairs really wants you to take that extra step, or share a meal, He'll grant you with another opportunity. I guarantee it.

Abby Collins

Shayla Story:
I agree with some of your statements. Being in a constant state of turmoil due to grappling with the moralization of every single situation is not good. One should live life and trust God.

But to lump loving in as a "strength" right in between writing and preaching? That just seems like a flat out shirking of responsibility. EVERYONE is to love. It is not something you have to be "gifted" with, and to view it as such is an easy out.

Also, although we were called to love our neighbors, let us not forget what the GREATEST commandment is: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength. Luke 10:27-28
Perhaps remembering this would dispel some of the moral grappling we find ourselves experiencing in the first place.

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