Thursday, August 12


I sit here in my home, the air conditioner running and the lights in the kitchen on.  The baby monitor tells me that Miss A is sleeping comfortably in her crib after filling her belly with 6 ounces of formula and snuggling with Mommy in the rocking chair, the CD player filling the room with lullabies.  I look to my left and on the bulletin board is tacked a receipt for formula...4 cans at $11.88 each, plus a bottled water for me.  I'm sure that day I didn't think twice about filling my cart with food for my baby and handing over my debit card at the check out. 

Last night I looked into the eyes of a woman who came to a food distribution organized for those in need.  She seemed embarrassed when asked to choose what kind of pasta sauce she would like.  At the table with an assortment of boxed meals, she picked up the one closest to her, staring at her feet most of the time.  There's another food distribution program available in the area, too.  For $29 a family can receive several meat items, some pasta, canned items and more.  When I looked at the list, it seemed like a lot of food for the price.  But the second man I helped through the line told me he'd like to do that, but there's no way he can afford $29.  "How can I buy that when I have to come get free food?" he asked.  I felt my heart break open a bit.

As I sit and look at the things around me, I realize how sheltered, how insulated I have been.  It's so much easier to close my eyes and pretend that evil, need, hurting doesn't exist.  I heard someone say that the church has tried to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, thinking that there will be no evil."  But ignoring it doesn't make it any less evident.  This morning my heart stings, this new awareness seeping into the cracks like alcohol on a wound. I don't think twice about making my daughter a bottle of formula, but 400 million children in the world don't have access to safe drinking water.  400 million.  For my one daughter, there's another child somewhere living in destitute poverty.  In my own community, there are children who go home from school on Friday knowing they won't eat again until Monday morning when they return to the cafeteria for their free breakfast.

It seems that everywhere I look I see need.  I've tried to hide from it, telling myself that people have what they need, that there's plenty in the world to go around.  And while that may be true (that there's enough to go around), the gap between this middle-class family living in Small Town USA and the poor of our world is widening. 

The truth is, I'm not sure where this is leading.  I'm not sure what Papa is doing in my heart or where He will take us.  I can't say that I have a plan for tackling these issues or that I know what to do about it.  But I feel a stirring deep in my heart; I feel that this sleeping giant has been awakened.  I don't write this to impress you with my new found compassion; far from it, I'm just trying to process what it is I feel brewing in my spirit.  It's hard to verbalize such radical change in thinking and perspective.  So until I have more direction, I'm just going to keep asking Holy Spirit to open my eyes.  Let me see the wounded, the bruised, the hurting.  Let me see the hungry, the orphans, the widows.  I don't want to close my eyes anymore.  I don't want to bury my head in the sand.  I want You to open my eyes, my heart and let Your extravagant, outrageous, furious love wash over me and flow to the world around me.

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