Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wish I could tell you

I'm Speechless....Yeah, I know - not me. Just in case you haven't guessed, I am a blog freak. I spend most mornings browsing anybody and everybody's blogs. I think one of the reasons is because it is kind of like a pretend world. You get to peek into others lives and experience their experiences without the pain or the emotions involved. (Usually) Since my trip, I am often clicking around on blogs about missions, about Africa, about Ethiopia. Once I see an interesting title on someone else's reader list - I jog on over.

Well this morning, that lack-of-emotion thing? Yeah, it flew out the window. I clicked from somewhere and wound up at this amazing post which hit me in the face:
Blessings from Ethiopia - I Wish I could tell you

From her post:
Loving the fatherless. Loving the abandoned. Loving the seemingly hopeless. The narrow road requires sacrifice.The narrow road. It's lonely. It's long. It's difficult. It's full of suffering and struggle and sacrifice. But isn't that what following our Jesus is all about? If you're following a Jesus that doesn't demand sacrifice of all earthly endeavors, than I don't know what Jesus you're following. Didn't Jesus, after all, sacrifice all earthly endeavors for us? What did He sacrifice so that He could love YOU? How much more, then, should we sacrifice in order to love Him? And if loving HIM means loving the unlovely and the unloved, then what does it mean if we live in comfort while the unloved go on unloved? While the orphaned stay orphaned? While the street kids still roam the streets?

Ouch. Guilt. And I'm not really sure that the writer meant to inspire guilt. She meant to inspire action. Which is what I am guilty of with most every post I write.

Let me side-step by showing you a picture I took last week:

This is exactly one week after a mani/pedi I received as a birthday gift from Tony. It was really, really sweet, and very appreciated. The massage was like HEAVEN. But in that 2 1/2 hours I spent at the spa, and got to feel like a queen, about $150 had flown out of our checking account. And one week later? The crick in my back had returned and my fingers were in the sorry state you see above.

And we do this EVERY DAY. The flowers we buy and forget to water, that are dead in a month. The video game for the kids, that is scratched and thrown away in 3 months. The mega-sized package of pork chops that gets thrown into the freezer, pulled out in a year with frost-bite. The huge dinner we make, but then end up throwing away left-overs as everyone gets sick of it.

Do I think God judges us for wasting money? I don't know. But I do know, to put myself in the place of a parent : when I give my children allowance money, or birthday money - how do I feel when they buy $5 worth of candy and eat it all by themselves the first day? Or buy silly Pokemon cards which are left out in the rain? Ticks me off. Stupid purchases! Why not spend your money on something that will last? Or a game where you can share the enjoyment? At least something you could learn from!

So what does our Heavenly Father say or think when he sees us spend the money he gave us on painting our fingernails red, only to have them chipped and broken in a week? (Stupid purchases. Why not spend your money on something that will last and can be enjoyed by others? At least something you could learn from!)

While on my trip, someone mentioned feeling guilty for all that we have. The country coordinator - a man managing 8,000 Compassion children but who had once grown up as a poor shepherd - told us: "Do not feel guilty. God blessed you so that you could bless others. You are doing what he wanted you to do. If you had little, you would not be able to give."

So I wish I could tell you that we are selling everything and going into missions - but I can't.
I wish I could tell you that I'll stop buying shoes I don't need or another pair of shorts - but I can't.
I wish I could tell you that I have all the answers and have God's will figured out - but I can't.

All I can tell you this morning is that I'm speechless. So now where do you go from here?


Katie Funk Goodwin said...

Thank you for sharing this post with me! I'm looking over that blog and oh my... I might have to make Mark read part of it. He "knows" we are adopting, but I don't think he really understands what he's gotten himself into by marrying me. It'll be interesting for sure!

Abbie H. said...

GREAT thoughts Tracy! I want to come back to all this-you've given my little brain some things to think about.

Can't wait to read that post that's coming up! :)