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Hands Of Christ: Why We All Need It

Kyndra Buitenhuis

 

It’s that time of year again! The mission of Hands of Christ is to bring Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations together to meet the basic needs of children, and we do that at First Presbyterian Moncks Corner by offering school supplies and clothing for children in Berkeley County. Our distribution this year happens August 4th and 5th, so mark your calendars because we will need your help! As we prepare, per our weekly bulletin, we’re collecting donations for Hands of Christ. If you would like to donate to HOC to buy clothing for the children, please place your offerings in the offering plate and designate for Hands of Christ. Also, we are still collecting new packaged boys’ and/ or girls’ underwear for ages pre-K through 8th grade. There is a collection box in the hallway for your donations. Many thanks to those who have already donated!

When I was asked to co-chair this year’s HOC Committee with Jane, I thought of the day I helped with HOC at our last church. To be painfully honest, I was miserable. I saw more entitlement than gratitude and more begrudged obligation than cheerful giving. I never wanted to be involved in HOC again, and I confess that it took a kick in the rear from God to agree to co- chair. Basically, He asked me what made me more special than all His other children.

So I got to thinking about what it means to be needy. If you google it, you’ll find definitions like "being in want; poverty-stricken (of a person) lacking the necessities of life; very poor marked by want of affection, attention, or emotional support". But what does it really mean? I had it in my head to explain this in my own words and went searching for sources to back it up. Instead, God led me to the words of this man: E.G. “Jay” Link of Stewardship Ministries. The following is an excerpt from his article entitled A Different Kind of Needy:

If you are like me, whenever you hear the word “needy” you always think of people who are materially poor and lacking in even the most basic necessities of life – often desperately lacking. And this perception would certainly be true. These people are in- deed needy and require help to even survive. However, there is a different kind of needy that we rarely recognize. I am not referring to the needy who have a material shortfall, I am referring to the needy who have a material surplus. Those who have a shortfall need to receive, but equally critical those who have a surplus need to give. Both are equally needy in different ways. What is so divinely beautiful is that these two groups of needy people actually need each other to successfully make it through life.

 

 

I’m not sure we particularly like the idea of being referred to as needy, but one verse points out just how needy we are when surrounded by our material trappings.

Jesus exposes the Laodicean believers in Revelation 3:17, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Solomon said it this way in Ecclesiastes 5:13, “There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.” This sounds pretty needy to me!

Mr. Link goes on to describe how giving transforms us by softening, inoculating, and refreshing our hearts. You can find the entire article at stewardshipministries.org.

For all kinds of reasons not limited to material trappings, I am just as needy as the impoverished woman who finds herself having to raise her grandchildren. Likewise, the welfare recipient with jewelry, fashionable clothes, and the latest iPhone is just as needy as the child who will go to sleep yet again with nothing but gnawing pain in his belly. There seems to be no shortage of secular charities that give to the needy, but it all comes down to needing to know the Truth, the Way, and the Life that is Christ Jesus. Serving is a good way to teach it... it’s also a good way to learn it. That’s what Hands of Christ is all about, and that’s why we all need it.

Your Sister in Christ, Kyndra Buitenhuis