Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Over the last year I've gotten pretty good at ignoring the poverty around me. It's a terrible thing, perhaps, but it is also coping. Our Social Worker keeps telling me, "Cari if you try to help everyone you'll help no one and you'll have nothing left." I often find comfort in knowing that when Jesus walked this messy earth HE didn't heal everyone, talk to everyone, or rescue everyone. In fact, I don't know if he lifted a single person out of poverty. He fed a few, prayed with and for them but mostly he lived with a poor man...and reminded them that there is more to life than what you do or don't have. He denounced the systems that held them captive and oppressed them and HE declared that rich or poor...the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is yours if you choose it. 

But this ignoring only goes so far, and there are days when I am so overwhelmed by what I see and what I have and many don't have that I can barely function. In living color I see the contrast between the house that I live in here with it's running water and electricity and the shack next door build out of tarps and tin. When I am driving, ALONE in my car I see the LOOOOOOONG lines of people waiting for a ride on a bus that should seat 10 but will seat 25+, or the new city buses that can hold hundreds if you pack them in tight enough. I drive by the market where people buy barely enough food--that's been sitting out in the hot sun covered with flies--for one meal; I am on my way to the supermarket where I have been known to complain when they don't have the kind of ice cream bar I like. 

I had one of those days last week. I was out to get my weekly supply of groceries and on the way back all I could see was children. EVERYWHERE! Walking on the side of the road, shopping in the markets, selling cookies and fruit, and toting 5 gallon buckets of water. And my heart cried...Jesus, why?!? It's a school day! They look hungry! They should be playing and learning! WHY!?! and then I started to think...which one is mine to care for? I know I can only take one or maybe two, which one is mine? And the LORD who knows and understand me and loves me said this to my heart...."That one is mine! The one in the pink frilly dress, SHE IS MINE!" And I began to see the smiles on their faces. The adults around them who were holding their hands; the strangers who were helping them to cross the street. 

There is a richness in followers of Christ here that I wonder if many who grew up in the US can truly understand or obtain. Pastor Daniel says often that riches come from a content knowing that God provides and trusting that provision however big or small is from HIM and is for a purpose. 

My eyes have been opened to the world around me...but there is blessed and sweet rest for my soul in this...the God of the Universe, who created each one of these dear little ones, knows each by name. He watches over them. He might call me or you to care for a few; to be a part of HIS hand in their lives and we should listen when HE does and be ready. They are ALWAYS HIS. 

He is mine! See the one who holds his hand, that is me. 

She is mine! See that smile, I put it there.

 That one's mine!


You are mine! 

1 comment:

  1. Cari,
    I shared this with the friends I went to Peru with. We all read it with tears in our eyes. I definitely do not live in that world and really only had a small taste for the week I was in Peru. But, it had a big impact on me. I am not sure what I would do if I lived in that world. I do live in a land of incredible spiritual poverty. And, I can easily ignore it, so I imagine if I lived where you are, I may do the same thing.
    Prayers as you spend your last few days there, process, travel, process, return to a place that is familiar yet different, process, and pray about the next step in your journey with Jesus.