I’m a cynic. And I’m a contrarian. When the pop-culture collective is doing something, I usually don’t want any part of it. By staying aloof, I nourish my emotionally wounded soul on a diet rich in the fat of condescension. That’s how I feed my deflated sense of self. That’s how I roll.
Although I’m not always a cynical contrarian, it is often my default viewpoint, and this can be a stumbling block for a social media marketer — cynical contrarians don’t tend to mesh well with marketing objectives. Maybe this is a good thing for you.
In my opinion, most marketing is about numbers. Getting more of something. And by that narrow, cynical definition the One Act video is pure marketing.
But, in my opinion the One Act video transcends the castor oil taste manipulative marketing often leaves me with. And I think that’s because the “one act” this video refers to happened to change my life. I am not a sponsored child, never was, but the act of sponsoring a child took me down a path I never would’ve imagined.
Five years ago I went to a free concert at a local church. At that time I was four months into my new life as a Christian sponge in the tub of Living Water. That night, the Holy Spirit dropped a baby into the tub with me.
In the middle of the concert, the musician stopped to share a story from a Compassion trip to Haiti. He talked about a woman who came up to him on the street and tried to give him her baby, to give her baby a better life. She was willing to give her baby to a stranger so the baby could escape the hopelessness of extreme poverty.
It was a moving and powerful story — much more so than these clipped sentences of mine suggest — and I wanted to quit my job and go work in Haiti. I wanted to immerse myself in doing Christ’s work, in serving others. I was anxious to learn if there was an opportunity for me to act on. And then the artist asked me to sponsor a child. Boring.
I was disappointed. I didn’t want to sponsor a child. I already sponsored a child with another organization and that was enough. I wanted to change the world. I wanted to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Sending more money wasn’t good enough for me.
For the rest of the show I dwelled on the missed opportunity to serve Christ in Haiti, but afterward, after the crush at the Compassion table dwindled, I asked someone if there was anyway I could go to Haiti because I didn’t want to “just” sponsor a child.
The person told me that Compassion organizes tours for sponsors to visit their children, which is something that the organization I was already sponsoring a child with, did not do. For whatever reason, the idea of visiting my sponsored child was enough to get me to act. I sponsored Lerionga.
And because of that one act, I went to Kenya 18 months later and met Lerionga.
Because of that one act, I heard about a job opening at Compassion while I was in Kenya. I got that job.
Because of that one act, I met my wife. She’s also a Compassion employee.
Because of that one act, I’m going to be a father. We’re expecting in September.
Because of that one act, I have hope that the darkness of my strain of emotional poverty ends with me.
When the darkness of emotional and spiritual poverty has swallowed you up, the devil has taken control. But in the middle of this desperation, a child can intervene. Act now, and sponsor a child. See what God does with you.