Charity and Reaching Out: A Lenten Message

A Lenten Message about Charity and Reaching Out

A Lenten Message about Charity and Reaching Out

When I came to people for financial assistance to help a retired family pick up the pieces and move on after their livelihood and home were devastated by typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan), someone intriguingly asked why I put a lot of efforts towards this particular family when there were thousands destitute who probably deserve more of our attention than them. I do not look at it in that way. That is not how I see charity works.

If I could help everyone, I would. The fact is I do not have the ability or the resource to do so.

Strongest Typhoon Ever Recorded

The close friends whom other friends and I helped are proud people. They planned their lives very well so that they can afford a lifestyle of giving without expecting anything in return. They came back to the Philippines after retiring from the military. They settled in Tacloban and built a life around blessing other people, in particular, the needy ones while raising two strong and happily smart boys. They are fantastic Christians. They witnessed through their lives, very rarely through words. They were few of the people I look up to for life mentorship.

In catastrophes such as Typhoon Haiyan, it is easy to lose faith and question God for his loyalty and sense of justice. Even with most faithful Christians, their spiritual bearing would be shaken when faced with near death encounters.

Some close friends and I chose to reach out to this family to encourage them to gather their strength and hopefully restore faith and belief that all will still be well. All the while hoping that these warrior friends will soon get back on their feet, not on the material side, that is easy being that they are smart and keen people, but rather spiritually, so that they can restart what they do best and that is to witness to others through their lives.

I chose particularly to put my efforts towards helping the said family so I could lift them up, remind them that even though they had this terrible experience, and despite probably having some material means to put their lives back up again compared to most of the Yolanda victims, they have brethren looking out for them. And that the pains they suffered and endured were by no means inferior to others.

Surely, they were all alive, but the typhoon took away the life they built. The sense of hope and charity they unselfishly share to others were badly shaken. I thought it was important for them to feel that regardless of how still blessed they were in contrast to other victims, their pains and losses were by no means played down.

You see, I believe that in the eyes of God everyone deserves His hand. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Rich and poor. Saints and sinners. All races, creeds, and cultures. The God I know does not have a list of criteria whom to bless especially in times of a massive crisis.

Rebuilding a Stronger Tacloban

 

 

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