Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Putting Feet To Our Faith

Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.  
1 John 3:18 (Contemporary English Version)
Last week, my wonderful friend, SomeGirl, took part in TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign. They spent the day barefoot, donated shoes to Soles4Souls, and prayed for people around the world who have no shoes.   If you're ever looking for encouragement,  or happy, positive posts to read, stop by SomeGirlsWebsite and check it out.  It's about love and good deeds.  The world needs more of that love to counteract the stuff we see on the news all the time.  SomeGirl is encouraging us to do good deeds, Love One Another,  and put feet to our faith.  Not just have faith and believe.  But do something good with it. 

My way of putting feet to my faith started last December.  Leading up to Christmas, my church took part in the Advent Conspiracy(Advent is the season of waiting, leading up to Christmas, just in case you were wondering...)  AC is about giving presence, not presents.  It's about giving something that matters, instead of so many material things. (Don't get me wrong, we still do presents too).  To do the Advent Conspiracy is to:
Worship Fully.
Spend LESS.
GIVE more.
Love ALL.
We saved money, collected coins, and at the end, donated what we had collected to build clean water wells for villages in Africa. Our church donated to Marion Medical Mission, whose effort is aimed at preventing medical problems through providing clean drinking water.  They have a program where they help villages build shallow wells that are sealed against surface pollution.  It only takes about $350 to build a well for 100-300 people.  That's not even a dollar a day.  How many of us spend more than that just at a drive-thru, or on junk food, or candy, or some other not-necessary-for-survival treat?

I was really sad at the end of the Advent Conspiracy that I didn't have much to give.  No where nearly enough to donate a full well.  Because I had bargain shopped for Christmas presents in January, most of the shopping was already done.  But I gave what we could, and kept thinking about it.  By the time January 1st had rolled around, I had hatched an uber-complicated plan.  We would keep doing AC all year!  Thankful for the clean water I had to drink from my tap, my fridge, and in bottles, I decided to donate a dollar to my AC fund for every lazy bottled water I drank.  Ashamed by how often we drove lazily thru a drive-thru, while others walked miles a day, just to find clean water, I decided to tax myself five dollars for every drive thru visit.  I had this grand plan about saving money for a good cause, losing weight at the same time, becoming more aware of my actions.  I even pictured myself proudly telling everyone next Christmas what a great job I'd done with this all year AC plan.  Well, I never had dollar bills to put into the collection box I'd designated for this plan.  I had to start adding them up in my head, and then plan to go to the ATM to get cash out to put in the box.   Never happened.  Way too complicated.  I finally decided that I WAS THE ONE putting all these stupid, complicated rules in place.  I COULD CHANGE and simplify the plan!  Duh.
Now, I no longer have plans to show off and brag about my success at the end of the year.  That's not the point of all this, and I'm glad I realized that.  I'm still dedicated to saving/giving money for the a water well.  But I'm just putting in a dollar a day.  A dollar a day can buy a well by next Christmas.  Putting in $30 at the beginning of the month is easy enough.  I can give 100-300 people a Christmas gift that will give back to them every day.  A gift that will keep them from getting sick.  A gift that will show them God's love in the world.

How are you putting feet to your faith?  
What good deeds do you do?  
SomeGirl and I would both love to hear about it!

1 comment:

SomeGirl said...

You're SO sweet, Shell!!! I can't wait to link up on Friday!!! Thank you! ♥ ♥ ♥