This is something I wrote a couple of days ago. It's not religious per se, but it came from working on charity projects on Easter Sunday...so there *is* a connection, really! :)
Yesterday afternoon, the sky became dark and dreary with clouds, and snow began falling heavily. In fact, the snow was so heavy I could hardly see the houses across the street.
Just as the snow seemed like it would never stop, however, the sky brightened, just a little, ever so slowly. Rays of sunshine started falling to the earth along with the snowflakes. The sky did not become blue. The weather did not get warmer. But the sunlight streaming through those icy flakes did wonders to make the scene seem a bit more cheerful.
That is what charity means to me. An item made with one's own hands will not solve all of a person's problems. It will not ease their worries. It will not cure their ailments. But in their world of dreariness and pain and hopelessness, this tiny ray of sun will pierce through, maybe for just a moment, and they will know, every time they see, hold, touch that item, that there is someone out there who cared enough about them to make something.
Maybe money is the better way to go. Maybe I should worry more about sending money to United Way or The Red Cross. They know how to make the money work. But there are plenty of places that have the means to give someone food or shelter. Other people can take care of that. And while food is a necessity, it doesn't stay with you long. You devour it and then it is gone, and you need more. A blanket, a hat, a scarf, gloves, socks...these things will not fill your stomach, but they will keep you warm for years at a time. Once you have a warm blanket, you have it for as long as you can hang on to it. It is with you. It is yours. And while it cannot necessarily sustain your life, it may go some way in sustaining your heart and soul. And it is hard, very hard, to make a monetary contribution that can assure that kind of sustenance. That is why I give the way I do. That is what charity means to me.