I am still celebrating the flow of generosity at last week’s annual fundraiser for Crossing Thresholds. I never take for granted the gifts of time, talent and treasure that are freely given to our mission. However big or small the gift happens to be, I choose to be grateful because it might have been given somewhere else or not at all.
So I begin with a loud Thank You to all of the individuals, families and organizations that have made it possible for us to keep serving in Kenya and Puerto Rico. Because of your generosity, children will be eating and learning and imagining a better future.
But the holiday season is upon us – a time to consider giving more than at other times of the year, a time for expansive generosity. Why might we make such a decision? I believe the answer is in the word equitability. What if we actually believed that human beings were created equal – with equal rights to health, education and opportunity? What if we believed that this was in the very design of creation, and anything less was unacceptable? What if we believed that our reason for being was to right the ship, level the playing field, and bring human flourishing to those on the margins? If so, it might change how often and how much we give.
I am not always generous by nature. I like to think I am. When I am out to eat, I offer to pay. When I am asked to give, I give. However, I do not give at a level that costs me in any meaningful way. Even collectively over the course of a year, the sum of my giving does not stop me from doing what I want. So I am left to ponder, “Why am I as cheap as I am? Why do my wants and needs override the great call to be generous on behalf of others?”
The world is still a beautiful place. It is also a place in which 700 million people go to bed hungry. Many of the hungry are children. They are quietly asking us to remember our shared humanity. With the holiday season upon us, I hope the word equitability will stay close to us. I also hope the call to be generous will bring discomfort and healing in whatever measure is most needed.