Although you won't find me making fun of anyone who has made resolutions, I haven't made any for myself. I also can't zero in on one word for the year as I have in some past years....
The one thing I can't get my mind off of or wrap my brain around, though, is our family's role in narrowing the gap between us and those who need things we have. It has been eating at me for years. I can point back to when I read the book The Irresistible Revolution as the starting point for the gnawing at my brain and heart. Oh sure, we've done small things to try and narrow the gap...getting rid of (some) excess, giving more, doing our part (or at least attempting) to be nice to the planet, reaching out here and there, secretly meeting needs of people we know, adopting a boy in El Salvador and a girl in Ecuador through Compassion International, praying about whether we should adopt an orphan.... While these are all good things, and I'm grateful for the small changes our family has made, we still have an "us" and "them" mentality. "We" help "them". "They" need food or money, so "we" throw it towards "them". "We" feel stirred, so "we" adopt another child through Compassion.
Meanwhile, we go on with our lives, spending the grocery money each week and only feeling angst when we've reached the budget limit and therefore the shoe polish Dad needed and the more expensive shampoo Mom wanted will have to wait until next week. We have all that we need and more. Our clothes are generally in style and they are certainly warm and in our size. The gloves I got for Christmas (which I love) cost as much as caring for a child in Ecuador for a whole month. Our vehicles, while I wish they were newer and had that new fangled "talk on the phone through your car" system, are not more than 10 years old and run well.
So, how do we reconcile this? How do we narrow the gap and erase "them" and "us" from our vocabulary? How do we enter into community with people who need things we have? That's what I'm looking for this year. That's what I'm praying about. That's what I long for. I can't reduce it to a resolution or a word, but it is what it is...it is what is in my heart for our family...for 2014 and beyond.