At some point in each of our lives, we have wondered what our purpose is for this place and time, in this context of flesh and bone. Were we thoughtfully created in a virtuous design by the imagination of a loving Creator? Or is our existence more random, particles of science left to chance, deriving whatever pleasure we can muster for the moment and leaving the rest to fickle fate?
If we subscribe to the latter belief that our lives are merely happenstance, our perspectives are informed only by the here-and-now. This limited worldview asks fewer questions, and perhaps on the surface produces less confusion. But it also begs less of us in general and produces a narrow perspective with which to view our lives and the lives of those around us.
If we enlist a little faith in the belief that we are created on purpose, by design, our hearts begin to beat with the chorus of eternity pulsing throughout our every day existence. And this eternal refrain tunes our hearts and opens our eyes to the eternal value of every single person, ever.
It was within the context of a rural Southern Baptist congregation, growing up just along the fringes of West Texas, where my conversations with God began. Inside those hardback pews, alongside that community of faith-filled people, I learned spiritual songs. I memorized scripture. I was taught how to love, take care of and be responsible for myself so that I could better love and meet the needs of my neighbors. Though I didn’t fully realize it then, even as a grade-schooler I was being encouraged to partner with the wide perspectives of eternity, to see the bigger picture … to truly embody the words of Jesus when He prayed, “On earth as it is in Heaven.”
Physical poverty exists across the world. Spiritual poverty exists throughout our hearts. One is connected to the other. Paying close attention to the practical needs of people here on earth is the open door to surrendering the need of our souls to God in heaven. So how we love each other, exhibited in how we treat each other, in the here and now will impact us for eternity.
Here in America, our global health budget provides the practical resources we need to love our worldwide neighbors better by helping provide the practical resources they need now. Within that budget, “nutrition” is specifically being cut, shockingly so, as the world is currently facing one of the worst famine in history. For me, a spiritual man who began to open his mind, heart and soul up to the objectives of eternity as a child, the initiative to diminish the means by which we assist others is to diminish the way in which we are able to love one another. This not only seems illogical (and unnecessary) by human standards, it is unacceptable by eternal standards.As our government treads the line between big picture (and I would say eternal) ideals and shortsighted budget cuts, the physical (and I would say spiritual) wellness of the world hangs in the balance.
Will you help? It is simple. Your voice has the power to save millions of lives. Make a quick phone call to your Senator or Representative and ask him or her to fully fund our International Affairs account to FY17 levels. This will allow for ample resources for emergency response and to provide food aid for systemic nutrition needs. I cannot save the world. You can’t either. But you can help make a change in the world by speaking up and giving permission to Congress to provide nutrition care for millions living in hunger.
My friends, this is not a guilt trip. This is a part of the ongoing education of our hearts in what, I believe, Jesus was teaching us through the prayer he asked us to pray over two millennia ago … Our Father, who is in heaven. Holy is your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, here on earth as it already is in heaven.
Andrew Greer is a multiple Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter based in Nashville, and respected author of “Transcending Mysteries: Who is God, and What Does He Want from Us?” released by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 2015. He is a member of Hope Through Healing Hands’ Faith-based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide.