Sep 6, 2008
Among those who consider themselves clergy, there seems to be two
lines of thought on this subject. There are those who
consider it a subject "too hot to handle," and those who don't seem
to talk about very much else. Please note that I am not
limiting the scope to any particular kind of clergy.
In the meantime, it is a subject that we're forced to deal with every day. If you don't see a poster for some cause, there will be the annual charity drive at work. And if it isn't the annual fund drive at work, there's the commercial on TV about a hungry child you can sponsor in some far-off land. And if it isn't a TV commercial, someone will ask for "change" the next time you go downtown. And as if that isn't enough, there's always the possibility that someone you know will be knocking on your door with either a tale of woe or some great venture for you to invest in. And we still haven't mentioned the folks who go to church and have a plate passed at them, have we?
Meanwhile, you and your family have legitimate needs. And if you gave in to all of the pitches you hear and see, you might find yourself in a situation in which you're doing without lunch so that someone else can have beer with their lunch! And that's not fair.
And then there's the question of attitude. Actually, it's a question of more than one attitude. Those who give with the expectation of reward might be disappointed. And that's a shame, because nature abhors a vacuum. What goes out will have its place taken, but you've got to give karma some room to maneuver. And there's the other expectation: the expectation of those who are receiving the charity. That can wear things down.
And no wonder some consider the subject of charity "too hot to handle", especially in a religious context.
And maybe that's why I decided that I needed to say something about charity. It's not like I can get away with avoiding it!