Yesterday I read Ann Voscamp's post and as often happens when I read her blog http://www.aholyexperience.com/ she seems to write about what I am feeling. She recently got back from a trip to Haiti where she and her son ministered to those living in what we would deem inhumane conditions.
She wrote: "I’m angry at sin that smothers children and selfishness that steals
human dignity and apathy that infects the hearts of the comfortable. And then a few sentences down writes: "Angry at how much I want comfortable more than I want
As I sit tonight I know that it is true...often I myself have wanted comfortable more than I have wanted Christ. I have wanted comfort more than I have wanted to be His hands and feet. I have wanted comfort more than I have wanted suffering.
Tuesday while I was at work an elderly grandmother came to the pregnancy center with her little one year old grandson. She has come in before...usually because she needs diapers...sometimes she just needs an outfit for the little ones she comes in with. They are her granddaughter's children...a young granddaughter who has been invited to come to do the Earn While You Learn program but for whatever reason chooses not to.
If we went by policy we would not give out the diapers because the program is designed to reward our cients who come in to take classes with items for their babies...but who could look at the face of this grandmother and refuse her simple request for diapers? She walked in the heat with this wee little one who had no shoes and a very wet bottom. They had obviously run out of diapers as he was wearing girls cotton panties that were soaked through and through.
She was given diapers...a change of clothing, some wipes and a pair of shoes. Ann says on her blog when you look at the faces of the poor you need to have a response...because of what Christ has done for us on the cross we need to have a response...we need to be responsible. This little boy did not ask to be born into a life of poverty...this sweet grandmother did not ask to be raising her great-grandchildren, but she is. My heart broke for her...how difficult it must be for her to have to come and ask for something so necessary for a baby...how her heart must break not knowing what the future holds for this child if something should happen to her.
What if I were in her place? Ann writes..."you can turn a blind eye to the poor all you want, but what if you had been the one born poor?" I would love to go on a mission trip one day and God has laid Haiti on my heart, but then I look at the mission field that is right in my own backyard. God has blessed me so that I can bless others. He has blessed you so that you can in turn bless the life of another. I can'tlook at the face of another grandmother and not see her pain.
I was discussing this with a friend today and she said that in her own family she feels that she poured her life into her children and grandchildren and yet now they only call her when they need something...so why on earth would she want to help a total stranger? Sometimes, I have to be honest I hurt as well because some of the people that I have invested love and time in treat me like I am invisible...does it hurt, yes because I am human, but does that mean that I regret doing it? No,it is what God ordained for me in that season of my life. All I can do is pray and leave the rest to Him.
I could let the hurt cause me to shut down and just work at accumulating things, living my life doing only what I choose to do or I can continue to speak His truth and to live out my life in a way that reflects His love.We are called to live life in relationship...sometimes you get hurt in the process, but always when you travel the path He lays before you His grace will cover you.
Pray about what you can do to make a difference...it might mean giving up something...a tall frappacino at Starbuck is about $4...if you buy one a week...$16 a month...who could it help?