"I'm convinced that God did not mess up and make too many people and not enough stuff. Poverty was created not by God but by you and me, because we have not learned to love our neighbors as ourselves." - Shane Claiborne The Irresistible Revolution
The early church "had everything in common" (Acts 2.44) and there were "no needy persons among them" (Acts 4.34). Does that describe our churches today?
The idea should be that we all take care of each other. God gives to each of us not so that we can hoard it while others remain needy, but so that we can share and in turn, be shared with. But when you take the risk to really give, it is scary because that means you are going to need someone else to give to you when you need it. WE HAVE TO TAKE THAT RISK, Church! That's what I'm learning.
We had extra money left from our tax return that we decided to save for the winter when my husband's business slows down and we need a little supplementing for our income. Then we started feeling really convicted that we were holding onto this money in case we needed it in 6 months when there are people around us who need it NOW. Our cousins came to mind. They are in the middle of an international adoption and have been needing financial help in that process.
We decided to give the money to their adoption. I looked on her blog and she had just posted the amount they needed to bring their son home from Latvia for the summer ("hosting" him since they would not be able to finish the adoption and permanently bring him home until the fall). The amount they needed "asap" to bring him home for summer was the exact amount we had to give!
So we sent off the check yesterday.
This morning my husband had coffee with a friend from church who told him they have been feeling they should reach out to us and help us financially if we need it. He told Chris we can tell them when we need financial help.
It was like God stepped in and said, "Laurel and Chris, you don't have to worry about whether or not I will take care of you. When you take that risk and do what I've asked you to do by taking care of your brothers and sisters, I WILL come through for you when you need it."
It is so incredibly huge to us to know that there are others. There are others who want to live this way, too. Because that means we can freely give to those who need, and we can know our brothers and sisters will freely give to us when we need. THAT is beautiful picture of God's family.