19 March 2017

Charitable Thoughts

In church today, a women who was speaking in Sacrament Meeting talked of caring for the poor and needy. Though I know it wasn't the speaker's intention, just saying that phrase, "poor and needy" brought to my mind the image of a ladies club straight out of The Help - sitting around, feeling superior, devising plans that they believe will best solve the needs of whoever is below them. As someone who works in the non-profit world, though I'm very familiar with the idea of caring for under-served populations, I felt a little wake up call that I need to do a better job of seeing people as persons, rather than a label or project to fix per my specifications.

It reminded me of this March Madness State Farm Neighborhood of Good commercial that has been playing frequently during timeouts. It may just be me, living in the world of charities, but I've been feeling lately what this ad portrays - having the needs of more groups come to my attention, stick with me throughout my week, and wishing I could do more to make a difference in the world.

The ad's closing statement, "Let's turn caring into doing" is what brought it back to my memory during church today. Though, I was thinking about more of the opposite effect- turning charity back into caring - not just about caring about a cause, but caring about individuals, their feelings, and asking what they need.

Faith and living my religion is an important part of my life. I turn to faith and religious values to guide my decisions, priorities, and relationships. I seek spiritual guidance when struggling through difficult times. I believe that there is a God, and that He cares about the choices I make and wants me to be happy in life and return to His presence some day. I go to church to strengthen my relationship with God, to try to get to know Him better. Because I feel that as I understand more of what God is like, I am able to make more sense of what's going on around me. I love that attending church also helps bring to light my weaknesses, as I hear the prepared talks and lessons and take time to consider how I can implement those principles to become a better me.

If you are interested in learning more about the church I attend and you happen to live in the area, our congregation is having a specific visitor's oriented meeting on Sunday, March 26. When I say visitor-oriented, I should clarify that visitor's are welcome every Sunday, but the messages shared next Sunday will be geared to anyone who doesn't know a lot about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We don't collect donations and there's no baptismal font at the door that we dunk you in before you can come and worship with us. You're welcome to come sit in the pew with Scott and I (he actually has the day off that day!) as you casually observe a Mormon Sunday. If you don't live in the area or can't come but you have a question, send me a message.

A friend reminded me this month that I have a history of being awkward sometimes in sharing about my faith. Sorry about that! I have a hard time separating talking about my religion as part of what makes me who I am and just the factual "this is what we believe" part. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me for my awkwardness, next time I'll try to be casually helpful. Pinky promise.