Generosity is: Inconvenient

Would you walk into the hospital room of a total stranger and ask them if you could help with fundraising for their medical bills?  That’s exactly what a friend of mine (we’ll call him Jim) did Monday afternoon.

The Kansas City Star ran an article last Friday about a girl paralyzed from a recent skiing accident.  On the same day her dad lost his job.  Jim promptly called me and said, “What I’m about to do is probably a really bad idea.  My wife will not want me to get involved, but I have to help this family.” The article mentioned the family was opening a bank account to raise money for the medical bills.  Jim knew they’d raise more money if people could donate with tax-deductible dollars.  So Jim started making calls.

The calls didn’t get him anywhere so on Monday afternoon, he stopped by the hospital to introduce himself to the family.  That’s it–a total stranger walking into a hospital room to offer help.  Talk about guts and inconvenience.  I’m sure Jim had “more important things to do” with four of his own kids at home and a thriving law practice.

Why would someone do such a thing, even knowing that meddling is a bad idea? Short answer, the Holy Spirit.  We all hear those nudgings: “stop and help those people in the snow”, “go talk to that man on the corner with change in his coffee mug.”  It’s easy to dismiss such thoughts, especially when we’re busy. The excuses are easy: “I have to pick up the kids,” “he looks scary”. Giving of our time is perhaps harder than giving money. We resent being inconvenienced.  But what would happen in our community–in our own hearts–if we headed these “bad ideas” more often?

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