Sacrificial Giving

I’ve just read this:

Senegal’s president says he will offer free land and “repatriation” to people affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

That’s quite an offer.

It’s been interesting to see, as it always is when disasters like this happen, the response of the world to the earthquake in Haiti. The lengths to which the US government are going, in commissioning “one of the largest relief efforts in its history”, certainly seem to have set the bar and been a challenge to many around the world to step up.

And, just as with Hurricane Katrina or the Boxing Day Tsunami, people everywhere have been willing to donate money to aid the relief effort. The news, pictures, tweets, from this devastated country have mobilised humanity to stand by its brothers in their time of need. Millions of dollars will be pledged by individuals in the course of the next few weeks.

However, it will eventually leave our news headlines (the snow is said to be returning after all). It’ll no longer be a trending topic. Appeals will stop being made. As people continue to struggle to rebuild their lives we’ll return to the ordinariness of ours. Our and attention and money will be directed at something else.

I wonder, if instead of looking for one off donations, relief agencies were to ask us to commit to giving an amount regularly, over a prolonged period, until Haiti was back on its feet, we’d be quite so willing. Do we give so we don’t feel guilty and then get on with our very comfortable lives?

I know you’ve heard this rant before and probably don’t want to hear it again but surely we could all survive on a little less and give a little more. I’ve looked at my money, decided what I could live without and done something with the funds I don’t need.

Do we give out of guilt or because we love generously?

Do we have faith that allows us to live on the edge, trusting that when we give, God will provide?

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