For months I have had an unquenching urge to make a difference in the world. Even activism crossed my mind. But yesterday, in the middle of a conversation that had nothing to do with my desires to change the world, I had an epiphany. I blurted said, “How could You change the world, if you aren’t even willing to cause change in your smaller world, your family.” My husband had this completely baffled look on his face, as I began to elaborate. Finally, he says, “All you will do is turn the much larger world into your small world, which you avoided to make change in.” In other words, if I don’t have what it takes to help my own family, then when I try to effect change on a larger scale, the outcome will be the same… I will not have what it takes. The same things that prevented me from helping my own, will prevent me from helping the world.
This was profound to me. I had been crying for a week about the condition of my sisters and brothers and last night, I cried about my own son’s condition. “I don’t know how to help him.”, I repeated as tears gushed. “I don’t know how to help any of them.” But had I really tried? Or have only ever done what was convenient for me?
What I realized yesterday is that so many of us go on a mission to make a difference in the larger world stage, while the world around us crumbles. If I can’t help my brother who is facing judicial injustice, how can I help others like him without first demonstrating a dedication to finding the solution to his problems?
One of my sisters is single and has no children. She works at a job that pays just enough to pay the bills at my dad’s house. Now, my dad can’t pay his own bills because although he worked hard his entire life and is now unable to work, he was denied disability and social security because he received a small workman’s compensation settlement and used it to buy a cheap house and a reliable car, since he had no place to live and no regular income.
Back to my sister, due to the overwhelming level of stress and responsibility of trying to take care of multiple family members who are struggling, my sister might benefit from mental health services to help her sort some things out, but she does not qualify for free healthcare and can’t afford to pay for healthcare. If I can’t help her and my dad, then how can I activate to correct these broken systems, if I can’t first find solutions to relieve the effects it has on my own family members.
I know these stories are not unique to my family. This has been the story of our lives and the story of many others’. We have suffered and went homeless and worked hard and failed despite our only goal being to live peacefully and not go insane. Yet, we find ourselves at the same crossroad, working exhaustively to barely get by. It seems to be a family tradition or curse…
Not having enough time to focus on permanently improving our condition., all we can hope for is a miracle that would give us that time to take a step back and work toward a better future for ourselves and others like us.
So, in consideration of all this, I decided to change my world first, so that together we can change the world. I will take inventory of the needs and injustices within my own small circle and work to remedy those so that our little world can effect change in the larger world around us.
With the help of Yahuwah, we will overcome the world and all its barriers, in spite of the broken systems. See, I am not advocating for activism in the sense we most often think of it. What I am proposing is that we actively help those around us who are hurting. I am not saying that we should gather together and try to get the government to give a sh*t. What I am saying that we need to began to display genuine care and concern be implementing solutions that resolve our problems from the inside. Solutions that are not dependent upon the government but relies on the people.
Its good that we teach the Word, but I am beginning to believe that we must also work to help those around us who can’t help themselves before we go off trying to save the entire world. Perhaps by demonstrating such love, more people will be drawn to the truth that Yahushua teach us. Perhaps more people will have the time and energy to learn that truth. The most essential truth he teaches, in the context of my new mission, is to love thy neighbor as thyself. That is how I intend to change the world!
Unless we are only looking for recognition for our so-called accomplishments, our first priority should be to those who are around us every day… our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, parents, aunts and uncles, and the seemingly hopeless men and women in our own communities. I’m talking about people who want to help themselves, but don’t have what it takes to do it. If we can’t get that right, we’ll never change the world the way the Messiah intended.