Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SERVING THE LEAST OF THESE




There are some blogs that I have have come to love over the past few years.  We all have our favorites.  
Most mom bloggers know about Ann from Holy Experience.  She is an amazing writer and photographer and so consistent and honest in her blog.  Since I have quite a few family members and friends who do not blog I thought I should introduce you to the inspiration behind  the Gratitude Community and 1000 Gifts.  I always link up to her Gratitude posts on Mondays.   She even has a book coming out next year!
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Occasionally I participate in Walk With Him Wednesdays,  where dozens of other women share their their thoughts on topics of faith.   Ann has just come back from a trip with Compassion to Guatemala City.  She has written some beautiful words about meeting her sponsor child.  These next few weeks she has asked everyone to discuss  "how to care for the least of these". 
I have no answers - only thoughts leading to questions.



Those in need are easy to find in Guatemala City and countless places around the world.  I see the news, I read the blogs of those who have been, I see the photos and I am moved.
But...

I am removed.

In my air conditioned SUV, I listen to satellite radio, driving my children to their private school.  I stood in my brightly lit, walk-in closet this morning contemplating what to wear.  I own 14 pairs of shoes.  I have accessories.


On a shelf in my closet, sits a silver frame, within a photo of Winifrida.  She lives in Tanzania, Africa in a area where AIDS is rampant.    She is happy in the photo because the money we sent was used to purchase her shoes and a bag of rice for her family.  She doesn't own accessories. She lives in a mud hut.  

How do these worlds exist simultaneously?  The silver frame and the mud hut.  The excess and the need. When you live in suburbia, how do you cross that bridge to "the least of these"?
I don't know.
I do know that sending that monthly check is good.  It is good, but not enough.  It is like the Bible story of the widow's offering.  We are the rich who give out of their wealth not out of sacrifice.  
I hope that someday I can go, like Ann, and see this child that writes me letters of thanks for changing her life.  She traced her hand once on the back of the letter.  She draws little pictures of people and huts and balls.  

"To whom much is given, much will be expected."
 Those are heavy words, when weekly I list the hundreds of gifts that I have been given.  


I keep going back to Ann's post, her experience.  Her description of meeting a native minister there and his story of coming to Christ through a billboard that read  "God is love.  Now experience it."
And his words "...and I do all this because he who has been loved much, serves much."  


Again - heavy words.


And the question.  Will I do something with this?
Can I be more than touched and moved?  Will I move and touch?
Will I find the least of these in my community?  Let's find out.

4 comments:

Graceful said...

Beautiful and compelling -- very nicely done.

Lisa notes... said...

“I am removed.”
I think Ann has touched all of us through her posts on Guatemala. I feel like you do: I’ve been given so much. I have only questions, too.

proudgrits11 said...

I'm new to Holy Experience and visiting the links from today's post...I am right there with ya. Asking the question, how do I do more?....surely that is half the battle. We're all in this together, figuring out how realities intermingle....thankfully, we can help each other out! Glad to have "met" you! :)

Maria said...

Hi Misty!
I really need to get back to my gratitudes... I post them on a different link, but it's really good to be deeply aware of how blessed we truly are.
I love your words today... they are written so genuinely and from the heart.

I, too, spent a long time looking at the photos and reading all of Ann's commentary both on her site and at InCourage.
What really got to me wasn't just the conditions in which these children live, but also the uncertainty of safety...to think that such danger lies just beyond them.
Keeping them in heart and in prayer
~ thank you for these thoughtful words today ~
God bless you ♥
*Maria