I wish I knew, really. As I was in Wal-Mart this morning, I almost cried. There were aisles full of people many of them complaining and grouchy. People were rude, and the best part was while checking out a woman who almost hit me, accused me of "almost nailing her cart." I think I prefer going to Wal-Mart with my sons, sure it's ALOT more hectic on me, but it keeps my mind reeling... or is that how I should want my visit to go?
While going alone here were my thoughts:
- I want into a grocery store.
- There are shelves upon shelves of produce, canned goods, WATER, meats, bread...
- I can buy things to help cook my food, store my food...
- There are supplies to help my wounds or headaches, to bathe my children, and if I have chapped lips chapstick!
All in my head, these thoughts going on as I hear people complaining that they couldn't find the brand the butter they wanted (when there was plenty of butter just not the brand of their choice). There were people getting ugly at the workers who are not with their families, but dealing with people that are self-centered and superficial. I was getting angry. I wanted to give them a reality check of how lucky they are. You have a government that supplies things like food stamps, medical assistance, and unemployment. You have a country that has organizations that run toy drives and soup kitchens.
Yet, we complain. We treat people badly. We feel privileged. It's disgusting, really.
I am this way. I don't always catch myself, but I KNOW I'm am everything I just mentioned. Do I do it initially, no. However, I do it.
If I lived in Nairobi, my home would look like this:
photo from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/rich-countries-slash-emissions-poor-focus-on-cleaner-water-unep-says.php
or like this
photo from http://msomi.org/kenya/nairobi.html
As I write this I have a bottle of clean water right beside me. In these photos this is something they are fighting for, wells that will quench their thirst. Wanna help? Take a look at blood: water mission, the guys of Jars of Clay started this ministry for the purpose of getting people clean water. What a powerful mission. Their new album The Shelter is challenging to a Christian that thinks they are fine in their own little world. "In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live..." can we truly say that as we see hundreds, thousands, millions, of people dying all around us.
Wal-Mart is a sad place... why... because of the people that walk in their everyday taking everything it offers for granted and on top of that treating people like they are below them. However, I have to say that God did give me a glimpse of hope and security as I walked out in the rain. He did. He had some the greatest friends I could ask for walking in, as I was walking out. If I remember he said, "Aren't we a pathetic group?" He had no idea I was thinking of the people I was leaving behind (not them) that he would be soon encountering. They are a great shelter to Reson and I.
- something that covers or affords protection
- an establishment providing food and shelter (as to the homeless)
- a position or the state of being covered and protected
Can we really sing, "In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live..."? From what I saw today, and what I witness everyday... NO!
I think that should be a prayer we have, that this can be a true statement for us.
It's not fair that I get to live this life while so many have to live a life of true starvation. Can we say this:
Can we pray this? Are we okay with just getting by? Can we except that? Can we live paycheck to paycheck? Can we depend on God whole heartedly? There are millions of missionaries spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost of the world. They are giving their lives for this. They are giving up the comfort of what I have to go to the places you saw above to give these people HOPE!
A hope that they will get clean water, a hope that they will learn how to feed their children, a hope that a Heavenly Father loves them. When they have this revelation guess what? They live on nothing to nothing depending on Christ Jesus to get them through the day. They don't even thrive on a paycheck. They praise God for a goat, a mosquito net, a cow...
Yet we grumble and complain that the lines are too long, there aren't enough workers, how could they not have Parkay Butter!!! It is disgusting to think about this. We should be disgusted with our ungrateful spoiled hearts. I pray that I don't take these things for granted, and that when I give a prayer of thanks it is sincere and from the heart. I pray that when I give thanks it hurts my heart to know that so many are thankful for just a single loaf of stale bread and clean water, while I sit in front of my pork roast, potatoes, carrots, and corn bread.
May my heart genuinely hurt for these people. May I be satisfied living paycheck to paycheck remember that God brought me this far because I don't want money to cloud that reality.
It's not fair...