02 Nov Yes or No: How Do You Know If It’s Your Turn to Help?
We have a saying at our church, and it goes something like this: Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.
So easy. So simple.
And yet most people I meet follow this rule of thumb instead. I have no doubt you’ve heard it before: If I do this for you, I’ll have to do it for everybody who asks.
That’s the lazy way to say, “I don’t want to help you.” Asking for help is hard enough. If you don’t want to help me, just tell me, but don’t pretend that helping me obligates you to help everyone who asks.
That’s ridiculous. And not even true.
This year, Forever We is prioritizing pediatric cancer. Cancer is not just a grownup disease, and even as I type these words, I cannot comprehend the full measure of the impact of its reach.
- Every school day, 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer, and everyday seven kids die from it.
- In fact, it’s the number one killer of death by disease in children nationwide.
- More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for pediatric cancer every year.
- The incidence of pediatric cancers is up 29% in 20 years.
- Only 4% of federal funds are designated for pediatric cancer research.
But while these gigantic numbers scare me to death, what really inspired Forever We to do something to make a difference was the story of one child. A child we knew and loved. And that’s what continues to be our driving force. We read your stories. We hear your cries. A daughter. A son. A sister. A brother. A classmate. Each little face, shining with the bright prospect of a hope and a future but tainted by the dark shadow of cancer keeps us moving forward. While we know we cannot help every child, we can help some of them.
What if everyone did for one what they wish they could do for everyone?
Can you imagine the amount of good that would be multiplied across the world?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the greatness of our need. My husband is a pastor, so by virtue of his position, people naturally look to him for help. Additionally, I work with several organizations that serve families facing various kinds of hardship. Their stories are heartbreaking and real. People need us, and truth be told–we need them, too. Life is messy and hard and painful–AND BEAUTIFUL. We don’t say yes to everyone. We can’t. But we do say yes to a lot of someones.
I’ve experienced first-hand what can happen when individuals adopt a cause that matters to them. All of us know a someone who needs us. Just think: together, our combined resources might be the tipping point for finding a life-saving cure for cancer or at the very least a treatment with less harmful side effects.
Finite resources may keep us from doing a lot of things we’d love to do, but it won’t keep us from doing for one what we wish we could do for everyone.
I’ll leave you with a message from one little girl, a little pistol of passion named Gabriela Miller. The moment I heard her sweet voice I fell in love.