Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All things in common

I was just laying here unable to sleep at night, thinking about something we saw yesterday.

We walked out of the shopping mall, headed for home after a full evening of fun. A feast awaited us (turkey roasting in our oven...explanation to come in another post). As we left the mall, we saw a little girl about Lo's age spread-eagled on the ground sleeping. I glanced around for her caregivers and saw a couple sitting, also on the ground about 10 yards away from the child. I asked them, "Is this your baby?" And they nodded assent. The mother had red eyes. Crying or drugs?

Once we got in our car, Jerry and I concurred the family looked homeless, wearing clothes people don't normally wear in public, and having their baby asleep on the ground like that at 7-ish in the evening. Furthermore, the parents looked young. Teenagers. We drove home.

Our abundance strikes me. We have a guest bedroom with fresh sheets on the bed (I washed all the linens yesterday), more food than we can possibly consume (I threw out food yesterday that had gone bad due to us being too slow to eat it--common occurence), so many toys for our child that we have boxed away half of them to keep him from getting overwhelmed, etc. etc. Not to mention the innumerable friends and family who fill our lives with the non-tangible types of gifts. Truly, we are blessed.

I wish there was some way to share what we have with that family we saw. I wish the world was a safe enough place that we could have told them, "Come, get in our car, visit our home, sit at our table, eat of our food, rest in our beds, feel friendship and care from our hands."

I read Acts 2:44 and 4 Nep. 1:3. Pondering the law of consecration, and concept of "all things in common." Not a fan of communism, but still not sure what the answer should be...something along the lines of relying primarily on grassroots, NGO type organizations filling needs. Jerry and I donate to the poor in general through our church and feel good about the percentage of our income that goes to charity. But anyway, I don't want to get into the technical stuff for this post. I'm pondering a different angle of this issue. Yesterday I read in our church manual Behold Your Little Ones. At the time I read it, I recall being impressed by a phrase about sharing, so just now I re-read the whole lesson on sharing. I love the role playing, parents and teachers leading by example, and teaching from the scriptures. I also appreciate that the lesson cautions, "Do not force children to share." Forcing people to do anything invites resistance, breeds discontent, and is contrary to the agentic plan of happiness God has for us. I love how our church is full of commandments but we are invited to abide by them--ever having choice before us. But relying wholly on volunteerism to solve the inequalities of the world is a bit much to ask in a pre-millenial state of worldwide imperfection.

Just thinking. And looking forward to a day when Christ reigns on the earth in perfect government.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I know that we can't take all suffering away, but if we pray for direction, the Lord will help us think of creative ways to take a small nip out of suffering. I like Jamie McKenzie's idea --when he goes out of town for business, he invites a homeless person he finds on the street to eat lunch with him at a local restaurant. I especially appreciate the visual images that accompany the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "My Song in the Night," which illustrates the ripple affect of good deeds.