Thank you all for your prayers and support the past three weeks as I served in Uganda. I am safely home and gloriously ruined for the continent of Africa. Every year that the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to serve Him overseas, I come home safe but ruined. I can no longer look at life through the same two eyes. I can close my eyes to the things I don’t want to see, but I can’t close my heart to the things I don’t want to feel. I feel different. As I sit here on my couch in Orange County eating Pringles (at 8:00 in the morning J) I feel overwhelmed with blessing. How can I honestly have so much stuff? I have watched kids play with cars made out of juice boxes. I have watched kids play with a plastic bag that ripped in half (throwing it up in the air and chasing it). The sound of their pure joy with these most simple things is echoing in my head.How can I have so much stuff? I am in the process of de-crapping my room and I am deeply saddened by all that I own. I find things I haven’t touched in years. Dust covers things that were once “necessary” purchases. DUST. I am ashamed by that thin layer of gray that reminds me that I have so much STUFF… so much that some of it goes untouched.
I thank God so much for His immense blessing on my life. But I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why.
Our team did a devotion on the sand along the Nile River. We were “ported” between a wealthy sailing club and a poor fishing village. First we read Mark 1:16-18, where Jesus calls the first disciples. Fishermen. Poor Fishermen. At once they dropped their nets (ie everything they own) and followed. Then we read Mark 10:17-23, the account of the Rich Man coming to Jesus seeking eternal life. Jesus notes, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” Reading these scriptures, looking at the communities on either side of me, I realized something simple and obvious. I am the Rich Man. I am blessed. Because of all the STUFF we have, it is harder for us to just drop everything and follow. Simply follow.
This convicting enlightenment has led to the simplifying of a very cluttered life. It comes as no surprise to me that this process will be lengthy, full of tears and overwhelming sights. I have seen a land of poverty; wealthy in their love for one another and more generous than anyone I’ve ever met. When you’re heart is full, you always have something to give.
Lord, teach me how to give.