Too Many Needs to Not Help

Sunday I asked our community why, even though we believe in living a life of compassion, we seldom actually engage in helping others in practical ways. 
And the one reason on which I focused was the misunderstanding that in order to help others, you, yourself, need to be all healed up. 
While I think that specific misunderstanding is common, it’s not the reason that most-often holds me back.  No, what usually keeps me from helping my neighbor is the nearly exhausting list of needs represented in my own home. 
I got lost in this daydream a few days ago: I was living in the country and my job was to care for my family.  Just my wife and three kids.  
In the daydream, this little community of 5 feels very manageable.  But then I  remember days and months and years when the needs within my own family were overwhelming. 
And then I start thinking of parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, and, of course, in-laws.  And, for me, this is a group of well-over 100 people.  That’s a whole lot of needs.  
Then, at least for me, there’s the church.  Several dozen families just like mine: full of needs. 
On one hand I think, “This is too much need.  I don’t have room for any more.  I can’t help.”
On the other hand I think, “That’s also a whole lot of support.  More than most will ever know.  How can I not help?”

Help while you’re hurting. Heal while you’re helping.

Last Sunday I asked our community why compassion so often slips off our priority lists. 
It’s an interesting question, especially to a church community like ours, because there’s already such a deep level of buy-in on helping others.  We already believe we should serve this city.  We already want to change the world. 
But, even we – who are already convinced – rarely do anything.
Why is that? 
The reason I focused on Sunday is the misunderstanding that we need to first reach a point of health before helping others.  While in extreme cases this is true, most of us should instead help others while we, ourselves are in the process of healing. 
Waiting to get healed before working to help others is stupid.  People who consistently help others know this.  It’s because you’re never fully healed.  You’re always hurting somewhere.   You’re never at 100%.  There simply aren’t people who have it all together.
If you’re waiting to help because you’re not fully healed, please stop waiting.  Help while you’re hurting.  You’ll be healed as you help others. 
[tomorrow: another reason we rarely serve others: we have enough to take care of in our own homes! ]