What Moves People to Great Acts of Service

feetWhat moves a person to great acts of service? We all know the stories and we all know people in our lives that encapsulate this. We, ourselves, may have been moved to care for others in a way that we never had before.
Melissa Fay Green asks this question about Haregewoin Tefara who took on the fight against HIV/AIDS by transforming her home into an orphanage for those children left behind by the disease. Some thought she did this because she too was infected by HIV/AIDS. Others thought she was a saint.
Green doesn’t find an answer to her question and I am not acquainted with the woman enough to give my two cents but it does make me think about what moves people (and why I can be unmoved at times).

Four words come to mind:

Empathy
Opportunity
Ability
Calling

What do you think?
What moved you to adopt? To care for orphans on the other side of the world? To visit the homeless in your own city?
Have you always felt that way? Are you simply “wired” that way?
Did you go through a “change of heart” at some point? If so, what happened?
Sorry to leave you with more questions than thoughts but I want to throw this out there and hear from you.

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4 thoughts on “What Moves People to Great Acts of Service

  1. A year and a half ago my husband and I adopted our son from Guatemala. I don’t feel like we’ve done a great act of service to be honest. I just feel like we’re doing what we want to do. And what we want to do is use our time, money and resources to help a couple kids who would otherwise have lived in poverty.

    We’re different than many adoptive parents because we chose to adopt and chose to not have biological children. We’re also relatively young. A lot of people think it’s weird to not want to have “our own” children. But over the years pregnancy has sounded less and less appealing where as the need of children around the world has pulled harder and harder at my heart.

    I have grown up never knowing hardship or poverty, just like all of the people around me. I’m terribly disturbed by the fact that we as Americans so rarely see beyond our comfort zone into the world around us where people are suffering. It doesn’t feel right to me to ignore it all.

    I think God has slowly been “wiring” me this way. My very dearest friend was adopted from Korea. We had a mutual friend that was also adopted and would sometimes think about what her life would have been like if she hadn’t been adopted into a loving family. To her it was a scary thought and she was so thankful for her life. This was nearly 10 years ago while I was in college and at the time I wasn’t thinking about adopting myself but I suppose this was a start in my adoption journey.

    Thank the Lord I found someone like my husband with a like mind and heart. We are and always have been on the same page when it came to how we would make a family. Love and memories make us a family unit, not our genetic make up. We hope more people will see this as a definition of a family and realize how fortunate we are here in America. We are so blessed that I wouldn’t call adopting a great act of service, it’s just the way we are living out our life.

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