In the midst of the television network’s almost constant coverage of the Haiti earthquake there continue to be stories of triumph, personal sacrifice and real life heroes or who I believe to be saints. It is in watching these types of stories that I begin to make the inevitable comparisons between my personal contributions to mankind vs those of others.
In my daily life I do my best to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I serve my church community, and do unto others what I would want done to me. I have worked within the human services realm since I graduated high school. Despite all of this I still find myself asking if I am meeting the expectations that will ultimately earn myself a place in heaven. If tonight’s Haiti coverage is an example of the bar I need to reach for then I have a long way to go.
For example, a man and his wife traveled to Haiti 12 years ago. They were so struck by the poverty they witnessed that after returning home they made the decision to relocate their family to Haiti where they opened a charitable organization and adopted two Haitian orphans to add to their family of six. Today they are hard at work on the front lines of food distribution and provision of emergency medical care in an area heavily hit by the recent earthquake.
A story closer to home told of an engaged couple’s contribution of a portion of their wedding budget to the earthquake victims. I am ashamed to say that despite the comfort and good fortune that surround me and my family I have not yet gotten out my checkbook. I would like to believe that tonight was a wake up call for me. It shouldn’t take an international tragedy to prompt me to evaluate how I am effecting other people’s lives. My goal will be to take a daily inventory of how I have lived out the gospel. My inevitable failures may just prompt me to reach higher in my quest for a place in the kingdom of heaven.
Please excuse me while I go and get my checkbook.