An Introspective Sunday
A personal letter from Carmen Parise
I am a tad unsettled this afternoon; no bad news, feeling healthy, dinner invite tonight so no cooking or dishes.
Today was a typical Sunday for my wife and I. I slept in today (for me 7:00 AM—I am pushing 60), read a devotional, took a short jog, ate breakfast, jumped in the car and headed to church. The worship was fantastic; the message awesome. Pretty idyllic, even by first world standards.
Upon returning home, and later in the day, as I sat down to make the monthly heart-wrenching decisions about disbursements for the Disabilities Ministry—never having enough to meet all the needs that knock at our door—something hit me: I had just enjoyed a great morning! I ate a hearty, appetizing lunch, and now there I was, sitting in an air-conditioned room on my laptop that cost more than most people in the world make in a year. Any need or want that should arise, I could afford to address.
My task is to make decisions on how to best supply the requests of several devoted ministry partners across the globe. Partners who relentlessly serve disabled individuals living in abject poverty, who spend their one rest day a week delivering nutritional supplements, transporting ill recipients to clinics, praying with family members, supervising the construction of a shelter and assisting in the planting of crops.
These men and women tirelessly serve those struggling with disabilities who are the recipients of your generous donations. They have selflessly taken many under their care, doing so without any of the “necessities” I admittedly take for granted on a daily basis. I feel unworthy to be entrusted with the wellbeing—sometimes even the lives—of so many. I pray for guidance and wisdom, and I hope that you keep the Disabilities Ministry and me in your prayers.
I often fall back on the response to a question I asked one of my dear partners a few years ago: “John, how do you continue, relentless without discouragement, serving so many, with so little, who are living on the brink of existence?” His response, immediate and simple: “It has to be in your heart.”
I know what the Bible tells me regarding serving others (Mathew 25 says a lot). However, I will always struggle with why so many have so little. I realize our Creator provided us with a universe of abundance; He merely gave us the responsibility to divvy things up. And I will always do my best at that task.
For those of you who support the Disabilities Ministry, thank you for your compassionate hearts, and the God-given desire to serve those who are suffering from disabilities. You are making a difference, for I continue to see smiles…one by one. THANK YOU!
Together in Christ,
Director, Disabilities Ministry