Give it away now

Tuesday 29 April 2008

It's really cold out there tonight. I keep thinking about the people who are stuck out there homeless with not even a blanket. Have been pondering how I would like to do something to help, somehow, if my health holds up and I don't go into Winter catching every cold and flu that attacks my immune system.

Seem to have won the latest battle. All of that stuff I took last night, the Neem tea I drank today, the sugar I purposely avoided (stuffs around with your immunity, the old cane sugar), have fortified the immune system and this cold, or flu, or whatever it is, is being held at bay, at least for today. I'm pretty excited about that, actually. It tells me that despite sometimes it seeming like my health is standing still, that I am improving. I've got renewed hope that I can continue on getting healthier. My dearest wish is to get some kinda cast-iron immune system going down. God knows I've spent enough on nutrition that it should be changing for me.

Took a look at a couple of websites of organisations that help homeless people, like Wesley Mission and Melbourne Citymission. Started getting that familiar sinking feeling that I sometimes suspect is just good old leftover teenage rebellion and dislike of authority, but sometimes sense is actually a true love of freedom and dislike of boxing in, a knowledge that the more centralised and organised and focussed things get, the more conversely narrow they become. Those websites were a bit depressing. So many hoops to jump through and boxes to tick before you get to go and actually help people, and that ... I dunno ... it feels so restrictive to me. There are ways you are expected to behave, under the umbrella of an organisation, that would feel like they were hanging over me in relational restriction if I went out under that umbrella.

The problem with volunteering under organisations is that your own responsibility is taken away from you. Instead of interacting with the man in front of you in gentleness and love because that's what God and your heart want you to do, the focus somehow shifts onto behaving that way because you are representing the organisation. I am sure I am being a bit too touchy about this, but I don't know how to overcome it. I used to feel this way when I volunteered once a month on the food van for the Salvos. I don't know how to overcome that, or even whether I need to.

Still, perhaps all this philosophising about organisational structures, real and spiritual, is just another stalling tactic, a not wanting to step out of my comfort zone. There are always reasons to not step off of the couch and away from the heater.

I understand why those organisations put all the little restrictions and requirements in place. I really do. It frustrates me, though, that organisations grow big, start looking for funding, start needing to toe the organisational line, worry about being sued, on and on and on and suddenly you are a large organisation that, yes, is helping a lot of people, but still ... it doesn't feel right, to me.

Imagine if the Body were made up of people who were filled with enough vision that we were overflowing. Imagine. There would be no need to join an organisation; we could go out and help people in need off our own bats.

Of course, sitting here idealistically imagining world nirvana is probably another stalling tactic.

I'm sick of stalling, in my health and in my desire to give away my time. Hopefully if the first shifts into gear, the second will follow. No excuses.


  1. Ah, the "ministry" thing. I remember once being involved in something where I was told to hand out m&ms to homeless people and say,"Taste and see that the Lord is good". Eek. But avoiding the organizations gets me thinking in circles too. Being the godjourney junkie that I am lately, I'm drawn to the continual emphasis I hear on helping "the one" Father is showing you. Whether they just need a smile, a warm drink, a chat or lunch. It's a direction and a first step.

  2. Ew, the "M" word. It's as rude as the "F" word, as far as I'm concerned, and stops people doing a great deal, mereckons. If you feel like whatever you decide to do to help people is like some kinda binding contract you have to do for the next 10 years ... well, kinda puts a dampener on things, doesn't it?

    I agree with what you're saying. I guess I just don't feel oftentimes like I have enough to give, in that way, you know? Sometimes I walk past ... and of course it's scary, that kind of one-on-one as God leads thing - takes you out of your comfort zone for good, doesn't it :)

    But yes, Marie, I agree with you. Sometimes I wonder though if joining some sort of organisation would mean that I could do more ... but the only problem with joining and organisation is joining an organisation :)

  3. Ah, what a non-conformist you are!
    I am cool with volunteering my time because I can keep it real and not get weirded out by the party line. As long as I proceed, leading with the heart, and my motives are right, then it's all good. And you know, it continually amazes me that I receive far more than I ever give ... the true gifts - all around. I don't get into the whole deal with any expectation of that - it just seems to happen that way. Papa doin' His thing.


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