We sketch out our beliefs through the words we say, the tones we use, the expressions on our faces, and the way we live our lives.
In a phrase, we are living advocates. But what are we really advocating?
St. Francis of Assisi famously said,
“Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.”
Francis was not arguing against the use of human vocabulary. He just recognized its limitations — and the fact that actions very quickly drown out the sound of one’s voice.
As a child advocate and member of Compassion’s Advocates Network, I have been trained in the words to say. What Compassion can’t teach me in words, though, is what it means to live out this principle.
You see, I’ve learned about the impact of poverty. I know the numbers of how many children die every day of preventable causes.
I have been taught about the impact of one child being released from poverty and given the opportunity to break the cycle of hopelessness in which he or she previously dwelt.
Not only do I have the head knowledge, but I have had my heart broken by the impact of poverty on a child’s life, and I feel passionate about getting others involved in child advocacy and sponsorship.
Genuinely living as an advocate for children, though, is something that I have to walk out — and work out — one day at a time.
It does not matter how many blog posts I write, how many conversations I have about the desperate nature of extreme poverty, or how many presentations I give to churches.
What matters — what really matters — is how I live each and every day. If my everyday life is not a shining example of the care and nurture and love and respect due a child, all my words will fall on deaf ears.
If my life and my words add up, that is a powerful testimony.
Since you read this blog, you probably sponsor a child. That means you are also a child advocate. You became one the moment you acted on the belief that your sponsored child, a young person you had never met, has a purpose and a future and you chose to invest in that purpose.
How are the rest of your everyday actions saying what simple words can hardly do justice:
“Children are worth it. They are worth our resources, but they are worth so much more than that. They are worth our time and energy.”
As you consider this question (and I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments sections), check out Compassion’s Advocates Network.
I have personally found it to be an invaluable resource and support system for learning to live out my answer to the question above, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share this beloved network with you.
Consider joining us if you haven’t already.