Last Sunday night when Zach and I got back in town from Atlanta, we were greeted by a crisp coldness in our house and a broken thermostat. Ugh. Not exactly great timing.
Our house was so frigid, probably literally in the 40s or less that night. It was so cold that no amount of hot cocoa could warm me up. Thankfully we have a gas fireplace so we camped out in the living room for the night buried under blankets and wearing sweatshirts and gloves. Ha!
I know I am painting a semi-funny/ pathetic picture of us, but it really was a reality check for me...especially since we had just met Monica, a homeless mother in Atlanta, only two nights before. Monica, dressed in flip flops and walking the not exactly safe streets of downtown Atlanta, reminded me that broken thermostats and traffic tickets and extra room service charges are first world problems, not real ones.
Zach and I were meeting friends at a local music venue and were on our way to buy some chewing gum when Monica crossed our path. As we spent the next 10 or 15 minutes with this young woman listening to her tragic story, I was overwhelmed with the pain and ugliness of our world that is often hidden from my eyes. Whether all Monica told us was true or not, it didn't matter. This girl was obviously needy and troubled. We did what we could for Monica that night, helping her get to a local shelter and giving her some food and water, but the question of why we have so much and others have so little rattled my mind.
This question was only compounded days later when a family of five, living in what should be a condemned house that was without water or gas, collided with some of our church family. Their needs and living conditions shocked me and humbled me as we looked for ways to help rebuild their crumbling home.
Not having a home or a safe, clean, bug-free home is something I never think or worry about, but a ton of people do. I can't imagine what that must be like and how compounding your problems are without basic necessities.
So I really don't know the answer to the question, "Why do we have more (opportunities, money, resources, protection, etc) and others have less?" but I do know that we are suppose to help when we can and share what we have.
Pray for Monica and her children. Pray God restores her mind and gets her off the streets. Pray that she and her family choose to follow Christ and that their life is transformed.
Pray for the family of five. Pray the mom and dad will get jobs, that the repairs on their home will last, and that their family will choose to follow Christ.
Pray for me and Zach... that God shows us clearly how and when he wants us to help his hurting world. It's overwhelming when you think about all the needs out there and all the horrible things that happen, but God knows how he wants to use us to spread His love and share His grace.
This holiday season (and every season!) is a great time to dwell on all we have - family, friends, food, shelter, clothing, and most of all the gift of Christ Jesus. Friends, we are blessed!