I started these posts as a way to document adventure in my daily life. Adventure, as I am learning, can come in many fashions. I have seen in manifest in my relationships with others, in nostalgia, and in my confrontations with The Word, just to name a few. However, when adventure calls to us, it doesn’t necessarily speak joy into our hearts. No, it’s more of a yearning, a craving, for excitement, spontaneity, and/or change. That same yearning crept into my heart yesterday at church. Our pastor showed us a video, one that hasn’t been able to escape my thoughts. In it, a child posed as a homeless person in a social experiment. The videographers wanted to see who, if anyone, would help a freezing, homeless child. The results of the experiment are astounding. Take a look for yourself.
I am sure you’ve seen your share of heart-breaking videos like this; videos like this are everywhere. After I found this one, I was led to another conducting an experiment on whether people were more likely to support an attractive young woman with her make-up purchases or help buy this same young woman food if she was homeless.
This video reminded me of another that I’d seen sometime last year. In this one, a man holds up a sign asking for support for his addictions. His sign reads “Homeless. Need money for weed, drugs, and alcohol.” The same man returns to the same spot for the second half of the video, this time with a young child. Instead of asking for support for his habits, the man now asks for for himself and his daughter while a camera crew records people’s responses.
When I watch these videos, I ache for change. My heart goes out to these people, the actual homeless population who seem more kind and generous than those who live with empty rooms to spare.
On Sunday, our pastor spoke to us about awareness. He said, as he watched the video, he couldn’t help but wonder how many of the people who had walked by the freezing young child had sat in a pew on Sunday morning. How many of us long to make a difference but turn up our noses and walk away? Or perhaps, how many of us are just so preoccupied with our own lives that we just don’t see. I pray for awareness, for the blinders to be taken from my eyes, not just in situations such as these, but in all situations. How many times do we get busy and ignore that phone call from a friend saying that we will call them back later? How many times do we forget to call them back? How often do we sit our children in front of television and devices instead of allowing them to open up, instead of listening to them? How often are we so consumed by our own wants that we are oblivious to another’s needs?
We all need this awareness, this ability to see beyond our own selfish desires. There is a quote at the end of the first video:
If only we could learn to live by this. Then, maybe then, we would find adventure in the service of our fellow man.