Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Going Deeper

I was at the grocery store today grabbing an energy drink before I went to the next appointment in my calendar. I pulled the beverage out of the fridge by the checkout counter and headed to a open cashier to pay as a guy with peanut butter- a grocery store employee- scurried in front of me. I stepped behind him, waiting my turn as another man with a birthday cake and candles of the number "2" and "5" came up behind me. As he arranged the candles to read "25", I made mention of how that had happened to me just a week before. We exchanged pleasantries and my attention turned back to my friend with the peanut butter. He asked the cashier "did it cover it?" She said, "No, you still owe me 4 dollars and 56 cents." He opened his wallet to reveal a crumpled up $10 bill. I watched as he painfully made the decision to hand it over and pay the difference. Clearly the $10 was reserved for something.

He moved aside as I paid for my red bull with one of the 20s in my wallet and I went on my way. The interaction struck me- and a bit hard. Earlier today I had told someone how cool I thought it was that we lived in a country where an "economic crisis" has little to no effect on its people. He rightly corrected me- I was among a group of the "lucky ones". It was a passing comment- but he was right. Poverty is in Santa Monica, California. Poverty is in Fairfield, Connecticut. You don't have to look that far. So what do we do?

I wrestled with this question as I drove off. And though I don't necessarily have the complete answer to the question, I have some of it.

First- spend money in a way that automatically impacts others. Serendipitously, today, my friend, Josh Tetrick, launched 33needs - a crowdsourcing social venture funding platform. He's got a group of companies on there committed to impacting the world for good- and we can be a part of their story. Not through donations, but through investing our money. Interesting, huh?

Second- keep your eyes open and tell the story of those you see. Dialogue keeps us aware and alert and thus, more equipped to make wise decisions when the opportunity for action arises.

Third- get involved, please. Help at a local soup kitchen, volunteer for a pet adoption event, go to a town meeting when funding decisions are being made that affect the poor. Just be present, be engaged.

And finally- pray. Pray for the people you see on the streets. Learn their names, their stories. Be active in that. It's your call. It's my call.

We were not made to walk through this life with our eyes and hearts closed. So would you open yours?


kv said...

thanks for posting amy. good to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

What a great reminder Amy!! Though I feel like Adam and I are also among the unaffected lucky ones, we've seen the impact of the crisis on our family and friends (mainly through loss of employment). Anyway, we've seen God's hand of provision regardless of the situation. Sometimes it shines through more clearly in the hard times . . .