We are now at Day 11 of Micah being gone. He is in Swaziland, Africa. I have not blogged about it thus far because, well... who knows who reads this, and would have come to try and steal my ultra-valuable gems and such. HA! In reality, any freak entertaining that thought should know, I pack a loaded 9mm and know how to shoot it. Accurately too, I might add.
No matter though, by the time anyone reads this my Micah will be back, and I will be very glad. I was also glad to have sent him though. Why? Well, it was not just so I could eat cheese puffs and fruity pebbles for dinner. (although that did in fact, occur). I was excited for him to experience the reality of those at the carepoint our church sponsors. We (our church, that is) work with Hopechest, and not only sponsor the kids individually, we will make visits there, help plan out a more permanent kitchen for meal prep, a well, etc.
I knew from the first skype call that God was moving in Micah's heart. He used the words, "gut wrenching" and "amazing" alot. He said the thing that struck him most was seeing these kids, who often get only one meal a day, with these huge smiles, and just so full of happiness. Then you look down and see, tattered clothes, literally thread bare. Barefeet with healing wounds, and on some, scars from burns, or neglected injuries. YET... these children smile.
I thought of my own kids who have cried over missing a toy, or not getting dessert. Then I thought of myself, having a pity party because I can't get my way, or walking to a closet so bloated with like new clothes, and saying, "Well, I have nothing to wear". Talk about SHAME. I am ashamed at how ungrateful I am.
Now, lest you say, this is a knee jerk reaction to extreme poverty, I say WHAT IF?
What If... We didn't complain about our clothes but were thankful to have them? Glad they covered our whole bodies and were hole free and actually clean?
What If... we opened our fridge and looked at the food inside and said, "THANK YOU LORD!" Even if our favorites were not on the shelf?
What If... we stopped thinking about ME ME ME and thought about THEM THEM THEM?
You don't have to go Africa to help people in need. Talk to your aging neighbor who is lonely. Make a meal for the single mom who is going it alone and is too tired to cook after a long day. Give some extra food to a food bank, and eat a little less this week. Talk to that mom who seems to be extra chatty at the park, even if it messes up your afternoon plans.
When I say "you"... I mean ME! I need to do these things. Please make no mistake. I am talking to myself here... I am the moron with so many shoes she can't pick which ones to wear. I am the neighbor who would rather keep to herself than give up my time to listen to an old lady talk about her warts and dentures. I am the girl looking at her watch instead of engaging that mom at the park. I am the glutton who ate until her belly was too full at dinner this week, and threw out leftovers.
I am one who wants to know... What if?
Can you please think about it for a moment? And maybe, maybe you are better at this than me and so many others. If so, encourage us as we try to live a better, more GRATEFUL existence. Rebuke me when I whine, chastise me when I waste, challenge me when I plateau, and encourage me when I think I cannot do it.
Oh folks... WHAT IF???