OUR MORNING WALK for the Week of January 26, 2009

"It can never be enough..." I remember these words vividly and passionately spoken by my father during one Christmas season in the early 1980s. It was that time of year - a perennial Christmas tradition - where my father would be made joyously aware of how blessed he was and he would be made painfully aware of so many people were still in such great need. To that end, we would toast to the health of the world, pledge to do what we could in the coming year and my father would say, under his breath, "It can never be enough..."

For the longest time, I was always under the belief that in order for charity to have that profound and lasting impact, it had to be on a grand scale; it had to be an effort that affected the most individuals using the greatest amount of good. I was under that belief... until recently...

I, and many others, recently received an email from a common friend simply asking for "stuff" - household items that we might have around our home that could be donated to a young woman and her child that were starting a new life in a new apartment, in our city. From that simple and humble request came dressers, kitchen tables, dishes, towels, a baby crib, living room furniture, a television, night stands, clothing, etc. The items came from all directions - and all of it either brand new or in relatively "like-new" condition. The items came with no strings attached and with completely open hearts. All of this occurred in a matter of just a few weeks... from a simple and humble request, "Can you help...?"

Often times we think that our contribution needs to be significant in nature to matter. We have to give it "all" in order for it to be validated. But often times, our contribution can't be significant enough in amount or we just don't have it "all" to give to change the world.

I often wonder, especially during the Christmas season, if my father was simply overwhelmed in mind and spirit because he glanced over the global landscape and saw all that needed to be done... and felt like he had to take it entirely on his own shoulders. Perhaps he spent so much time looking so hard at that distant global landscape that he wasn't able to fully appreciate his selfless efforts made right here in his own backyard. Perhaps we all have that same distant tunnel vision and it blinds us to the very fact that we are bettering the world... one person at a time... right under our noses.

Yes, we may not be able to make significant contributions or give it "all," but what matters is that we give and share what we can and what we have. So many of us privately want to help our fellow human being, without feeling the threat of being scammed, but we often don't know where to begin. And so many wonderful acts and journeys simply begin with the question, "Can you help...?" It is the very question that frees that generous and caring guardian angel in each of us that is begging to get out.

My father was right in that "it can never be enough." But that can be a positive aspect of this life, my friend. The generosity we share with one another can never be enough. And honestly, would we want it to be? The compassion and mercy we show to our fellow human beings can never be enough. The Spirit of God working through people can never be enough. And when it is not enough, that is the time we band together and ask one another for support. And when it is not enough, that is when we fall to our knees and allow the Almighty to multiply the fish and the loaves.

And in that spirit, it might... it just might be enough.


Friend, did you pour out half a cup of your coffee or a portion of your soda today? Consider donating tomorrow's cup of coffee or soda (the monetary value of it) to Children's Hospital Boston and sponsor Lee Hoedl as he prepares to run the 113th Boston Marathon in April 2009. Click on the banner below for more information concerning the Miles for Miracles Program and its wondrous purpose. Your contribution - of any amount - will be significant and appreciated.

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