Monday Tabitha was sick and I realized how much I love her and need her. I don’t think I can explain to an American mother why I need house help unless you have lived on the mission field. (I am not just a lazy or spoiled mom. Although, I am grateful!) If I miss one day with sweeping, laundry (especially diapers), or doing dishes I have a mess on my hands. Yes, I could do some of it (not laundry by hand!) but somehow I can’t get it all done with a baby, kids, meals, market, ministry, team, communicating…rest. Anyways, I am thankful for Tabitha and she is thankful for a job.
Okay to get to the point now, so I had Angie’s house help Grace come for a couple hours to help me. She came to our new home and said how nice and big our house is. All day long that struck me. Here is a woman who lives in one room with four children and I have a “mansion”. I prayed about it and for the first time admitted I am wealthy. I am wealthy! Would Americans say I am? Probably not. I have always compared myself to them and evaluated myself on those standards. But the fact is compared to most of the people in the world I am very wealthy. Think about it, as Americans we need closets, cupboards, garages, attics, basements, storage units… Why? Because we have so much! So much stuff and yet we think we need more. We are wealthy. Too wealthy. Most of my neighbors here have one trunk to keep all of their things in. People here have had to flee their home with only what they could carry. Most people don’t have anything to store because they have no money for their next meal. Yet, how often I complain and get crabby when I don’t have what I think should be “essentials”. Like when; the power is out here, or we don’t have water, our van doesn’t work, or I don’t have good food. Are my neighbors complaining? This is how they live everyday. They aren’t essentials unless to so many in the world.
Wow, what do you do with all that? It is reality and I live amongst it everyday. I am a wealthy American living amongst the poor in Africa. I wrestle with this so much. It is nothing new for me. In my prayer time I came to the conclusion that I can’t live like them and I am have been very blessed (and don’t even deserve it). I prayed that God would give me a generous and selfless heart and that He would help me be responsible with all He has given me. That is my prayer. I want to glorify God with all I have. God help us as we live in an unfair, sinful world. May we, especially the wealthy, use our resources to bring honor to your name.
Okay another deep thought. The other day I was looking at my kids and thinking about all that some people in Africa and other countries have had to go through. I had to force myself to really think about it because it is so hard. But the fact is that many people have had to see their precious children be killed, kidnapped and made soldiers, tortured…even babies. I can’t even begin to fathom that thought of my kids suffering like that. Or for that fact them watching their parents killed either. So often we don’t want to think about this or know about it because it is so awful. But maybe we should have to sometimes. It is too easy for us to not want to know. But it is really happening right now in our world! In Africa, the Middle East, and so many other places… People are dying and hurting. And we are sitting comfortably not knowing about it. I decided I needed to repent. For myself and for all of us who don’t want to think about it. (Not that we don’t want to do something but feel helpless.) We need to be praying. Calling out to God on their behalf. Remembering them. I don’t always understand my neighbors or people here, but I also don’t understand all they have gone through. What does it feel like to be desparate, to see a loved one taken or killed, or to in war? I needed this wake up call. I needed to repent of my not wanting to think about it and not praying about it. I realize this is heavy stuff and some of you may think I am crazy, but God taught me something when I looked at my kids that day. No one deserves the evil that is happening in this world. I will never understand it. I have to go to God. He is the only one who can take it all and give me hope.