How important is your mattress to you? Many of us have invested in quality mattresses, and just like anything else in the world, there are a plethora of options. One of our interns this summer was Will Williams. Will is a legitimate mattress expert.
Will’s father, Billy, is the founder of Urban Mattress, a premier bedding provider. Will has grown up helping in the family business and has learned a lot about mattresses along the way. Yes, this is the same Williams family that has the distinction of being Hope Angels for more Hope Haven students than any other family! Each of their seven children has at least one “Kugaba Kid,” and several have more. This family has huge hearts!
A few weeks ago in Rwanda, Will and I were discussing mattresses following a mostly sleepless night. Spending a night in a tent in the middle of Akagera National Park sounds exotic, and it was, but it was also painful. This wasn’t the safari “glamping” option that Akagera offers, this was the “bring-your-own-blanket-and-sleep-on-the-ground” option catered to university students. A mattress would have been really nice. All I could think during the wee hours of that morning was, “I’m too old for this!”
Of course, our solitary night sleeping on the ground is nothing like what many families in our Hope Haven community face. Many of our neighbors have slept on the hard clay for the majority of their lives—whether they are 7 years old, or 70 years old. During the last year, our organization has made an intentional effort to help provide mattresses for every needy family in our community and it has been a true joy!
There is nothing sweeter than learning about a need, and then having the opportunity to help meet that need.
This is the intersection of stewardship and compassion, and it’s a beautiful corner to hang out on. It is the neighborhood where the love of God is displayed through our practical giving.
Conversely, if we see a need, and are able to help, but choose not to, we may want to check our spiritual pulse. Are we clinging too tightly to the things of this world? Are we demonstrating a feeble attempt to stockpile more stuff while missing out on the true freedom of giving?
As Saint John wrote in 1 John 3:17, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
Don’t feel guilty about appreciating your mattress. It is a good gift from God.
Ultimately, we should not pursue the comforts of this world, we should “pursue love” (1 Corinthians 14:1). This “pursuit” of love will look different for each one of us, but I am confident that we will experience true joy as we give more and hoard less!
Is there anything you can give away this week to someone in need? How about giving to a nonprofit that helps provide basic essentials for people who are really struggling? As Randy Alcorn says, “Giving is the good life!”