Photo: “Graduation” ceremony from Citizen’s Academy sponsored by the Charlottesville Police Department. You can read about my experience here.

Love your neighbor as yourself is the second greatest command. After loving God, our eyes should turn to those who may need justice, food, shelter, clothes, or healing. Being studious includes paying attention to the world in which we live and our role in being salt and light within it. Now, more than ever, Christians must show courage and leadership in the face of division and moral compromise.

Prioritizing the needs of our family is paramount, of course. I have always said that the man sleeping next to me is my closest neighbor! But after hubby and children are cared for, how might we allocate resources and energy outside of our home to the community at large? We have talents and wisdom needed in many sectors. Here are a few to consider:

The church: Church members can become like a second family to us if we take time to build relationships and serve others. God has blessed each of us with gifts to share with those also seeking to live a God-pleasing life. Joe and I have primarily served in leadership and teaching roles at the churches we’ve attended.

The workplace: Women of God are highly skilled in countless ways. If it fits our desires and family priorities, we should absolutely be the light of Christ in the business world. After 22 years as a stay-at-home mom, I launched a career in fundraising back in 2005. I have done consulting on the side, and I also have a commentary segment on the podcast The World and Everything in It, every other Monday.

Non-profits, schools, and hospitals: There are countless organizations looking for volunteers and donors to help carry their noble missions forward. I have been a mentor for MOPS, a substitute teacher in the public schools, and a club adviser at the school where we live.

Politics and community activism: Wherever you live, there are people in need of life’s basic necessities. We also have an obligation to speak for those who are marginalized or challenge those who abuse their power, that we might be peacemakers in a world filled with hate. My commitment to racial reconciliation comes from God’s heart, who created all of us in his image and commands us to love each other.

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’


37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

Matthew 25.34-40.