Monday, September 29, 2008
If I had 30 days left to live I would: (In no certain order.)
1. Go to Ethiopia and meet my son’s family. I’d treat them to a fabulous dinner, new clothes, and a warm shower. Then I tell them of their Creator’s great love for them. I would hold them and love them, as their dear mother did not live long enough to do so. Then…
2. I’d go to the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. I’d pour into those women. I would tell them of their great value. I would also tell them they are beautiful and I know the one who RESTORES.
3. I’d love my DAD as his parents never did.
4. I’d play a family softball game in front of my grandmother’s old house. All my Mom’s living family would be there and we would have watermelon on the picnic table after the game.
5. I’d spend a night and day one on one with my children and tell them everything I have learned and everything I still desire to know. I would tell them, besides my salvation, they are my GREATEST gift.
6. I’d go on a trip with my husband to anywhere and tell him how much he means to me and all he has taught me.
7. I’d spend a weekend with my brother and his wife and laugh until my belly hurt.
8. I’d have a girls night out that might end in arrest.
9. I’d spend a quiet day beside a stream telling the Living Water how thankful I am.
10. I'd spend time laughing and crying with my Mother, my greatest friend.
I’m sure if I thought long enough, I’d come up with a list a mile long. But since I am already crying I’ll stop here and reflect. Reflect on the things that are not on my list, things that seem to matter in everyday life…material things did not make the cut. Food did not make the cut. Entertainment, not there either. People, that’s what made the list. People, the crown of creation, the reason for living well.
Monday, September 15, 2008
In Psalms 37:25, it is recorded that David, the King of Israel said, I was young, and now I'm old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread. I've always considered this scripture a promise rather than a statement of someones observation. The other night Stephanie told me about a father who brought four of his kids to the orphanage. All were very hard of hearing or completely deaf. The oldest were in their late teens, so adoption really was not plausible. The family was obviously close to one another and to the Lord. But, the father was worried about his kids, who were ostrasized and abused in their village. He wanted more for them. They had managed as a family to send two of the children to a deaf school, and these two kids had taught the others sign language. I thought about it long after she told me the story and this scripture came to mind. The next day, we went to visit Dr. Mary. I mentioned the scripture to her and she said fiercely, that verse should not be in the Bible. That, or it is just David's observation. It is simply not true.Then she described the story of a poor, Christian mother. There are thousands here like her. She lives in a dirt hut where the roof leaks. The floor becomes mud in the rainy season, and she has no furniture. So, she spends the nights holding her children up, out of the water. In the morning, she is soaked to the core, muddy and very cold. But, she has no change of clothing, so to wash herself, she must go the fridgid river waters and wash her clothing while she wears it. Then, she must go, wet, and search for work to order to buy flour. Then she must find wood and light it in the rain to bake bread her food for her family. She is not dry or warm for months. I have grown up hearing that the United States is blessed because in our early roots, we are a Christian nation. Ethiopia's roots are the same, only older. From Jewish to Christian, this is a country founded on faith in God. So, why is she not blessed the way we are blessed? I question now, is blessing equal to financial success? Are we somehow better than the people here so God chooses to give to us? Often when I walk here, I think it must be so much like walking in the context of Biblical times. The culture is emotional, and respect for proper heirarchy considered very important. I can imagine two women fighting over a child, and one woman agreeing the child should be split. I can see why goats and sheep need to be separated, because they look alike. I can picture shaking the dust of a town from your feet, or washing someone's feet out of love for them. "Cry out to Me and I will answer" says God in another scripture. My young translator told me a story from his youth. "I was on my own from the time I was six years old because my parents did not have enough food. I had some torn clothes, and I was embarrassed because they did not cover me. One day I was so cold becuase of the rain, I said, God, please help me find some clothes. I had the feeling to walk straight down this road. A man came out of his house and said to me, "you look cold. Please, go down to the building on this street, they are giving clothes." God provided for me clothes that day."