Around Thanksgiving and Christmas our thoughts turn to those who do not have or are in need. From our abundance we feel compelled to give something to ease their plight, bring a little cheer into their lives, or hopefully ease their financial stress. All of this is good, very good. But in another sense, it is also very sterile. Sterile because it is dropping some dollars in a red bucket. Writing a check to send to St. Vincent de Paul’s or Benjamin House. Maybe purchasing some toys to contribute to Santa Claus drives.
In all these endeavors you do not have to touch the recipients, look them in the eye, or physically come near them. Your contribution is done from afar. Sterile because you never touched them. Do not take me wrong, what is offered and given is gladly received and needed. But honestly, it is a band aid. What is given is used up quickly. But it has not changed a life. In a few weeks or months, they will need the same help again. And we begin the process of asking for more donations.
What is needed is giving time and talent.
Time – spending time with people. Discovering what they truly need. Their needs might include learning how to manage a budget. Save money for the future. Learn to become responsible to hold on to a job. How to cook nutritious meals that require more than a microwave. How to do home repairs. Do simple maintenance on a car. And the list continues.
Talent – what talents do you have that can be shared. Look at the list above. We all can teach. In a few moments, you could teach someone how to do the simplest tasks listed above.
Time and talent can change lives if someone freely gives. Is there something that you can do?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen