Friday, November 26, 2010

reminder: some doors cannot be closed....

the day after a full and fun Thanksgiving (minus the moments of cabin-fever-induced squabbling) we woke up with a cleaning bug! Preparation to changing the season and putting up decorations of Christmas this coming week. The boys cleaned their room, and did a pretty great job ....four bags of stuff to give away ..... As I looked at the clutter, I thought of our tendency to accumulate.....why so much stuff? As they were cleaning, they kept calling me to come see, proud of the progress they were making. When they were all done, I declared it good and they felt good.

The girls cleaned their room, then Olivia swept the entire living room and kitchen, as I was doing the dishes.

We chatted.

She told me about her home in Ethiopia, that it had dirt floors.

She said every morning, she and her sister would get an au-but (is how she pronounced it), she explained it was "dry cow poopy" and they would sweep the floor then take the "au-but" and rub it all over the floor to make it shiny, just like this. (She pointed to our tiled kitchen floor).

She said then, she would go out with a basket and find four more "au-buts" and bring them in to make a fire to cook lunch. Every day she would do this. She smiled as she said she liked work.

I thought, as I watched her sweep, the differences in life around the world. The many many years I have taken all that we have for granted, expected, entitled. How naive of me.

I look at my refrigerator full of left-overs and think of those who have no food today.

I am just so perplexed on the complexity of the problem and questioning of what does God think, do, want? It is an overwhelmingly big problem that can cause us to freeze and take no action. Yet, as individuals raise up in a desire to make a difference and to try to take a step...God will help us discover what is it we can do. How. Where.

With aching heart, I say I cannot live as I have before. Once that door as been opened to see, to understand, I cannot close it and pretend what is on the other side is not there. Then, as time and familiarity wrap around me, I forget.

I am thankful for my daughter's reminder this morning. As a family, we will be choosing gifts for Jesus from the Samaritan Purse, World Vision and other Christian aid catalogs..... a goat for a family, contribute to a well for a village.... I don't know what we will choose....but we cannot remain the same and close the door, which means for me, we cannot spend the same this Christmas.

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matt 25:44,45

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Rev 3:20

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