At some point during this process I came to an uncomfortable conclusion, I had to admit to myself that I’m critical of other people’s charity work. It’s ugly but true. This makes me a jerk, first of all, because who criticizes the way someone else goes about their humanitarian efforts? Ugh, I do. Well, I did. Well I kind of still do but try hard not to. Secondly, it should let you know I’m not great at getting off my duff and taking action because people who do aren’t critical like me. They’ve been there and know it’s sticky business.
Three months ago I had what I thought were all the right answers tucked neatly inside my head and it felt sure, obvious, and almost like a problem solved. “Why is this poverty thing still an issue?” I started thinking I had a formula no one else had thought of but it fell apart and got messy when I finally put it into action.
That’s because there’s no right answer. No formula. No guarantee of a tidy end result. In your mind things play out like a Hollywood movie- you look great, you feed every hungry child, and they all end up in a loving home by sundown. But in real life your armpits are wet by 8AM, you say weird things on camera, and you know deep down no one will be in a loving home by sundown- tonight, tomorrow or even next month.
The thing is, I think we might be doing some things right with this project. I suspect we’re also making mistakes we don’t even know we’re making. Oh God, grant us the clarity to do what you’ve asked of us. Help us love these kids well no matter what the end result may be.