Often at Lent I give up ice-cream and other tasty treats but what good does this really do? If I have given up cake then I will have a biscuit instead. My actions seem so meaningless when we consider the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Therefore, this Lent, instead of giving something up I am going to make a conscious effort to give to others. I am going to give more. More time, more compassion, more encouragement, more love.
The second commandment tells us to love our neighbour. This is not just the person next door to us or the people who look and talk like us. It is more than just the people that we share pews with. We all have neighbours, some are next door, some are along the road, some are in different countries, and some are on the other side of the world. Distance should not make a difference in how much we give to others. Distance does affect how and what we give nevertheless we should still offer what we can to the people who need it the most.
A few years ago I got my hair cut really short. It had nothing to do with the latest hair trends or ease of styling. I came across the Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes real hair wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatments or other illnesses. After looking into the works of this charity I decided to donate my hair in the hope that somewhere a little boy or girl could feel a little bit more positive. I knew my donation would not make them better but it could make them feel happier. As you may have noticed my hair is, once again, extremely long.Last time I got my hair cut short, I was asked many times, “is your head feeling cold?” The answer was simple. “Yes” but I found hats were a great way to keep my head warm. Recently, I have seen increasing numbers of pictures of Syrian children who do not have suitable winter clothes or blankets to keep them warm in this weather. Unicef is one of the only children’s organisations working in Syria as well as in other countries where Syrians have sought refuge. One of their projects is to provide the most vulnerable children with warm clothing and thermal blankets.
During Lent I will be getting my ponytail cut off and I will be giving it to the Little Princess Trust so they can help make a difference to a child’s life.
Over the next few weeks I will have sponsor forms at Coffee Fellowship for anyone who would like to sponsor me to get my hair cut off (at church). All money raised will be donated to Unicef to help keep some of the most deprived children warmer, safer and healthier.