Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So much stuff...

Last week, I almost had a panic attack in Target.

My cupboards were COMPLETELY bare, and eating stale potato chips for breakfast was getting old, so I decided to run to Target to pick up some groceries. As I pulled into the parking lot, I realized it was the first time I had gone shopping since I returned from Ethiopia. As I stood in the crowded aisles, I felt compeltely overwhelmed by all of the stuff. Sodas stacked ten rows deep. Wracks of sparkling jewelry. Enough food to feed entire villages in Africa. As I held a pack of Easter candy in my hand, contemplating that the cost equalled an Ethiopian farmer's pay for a week, I just wanted to run away. How do I find that balance between poverty and gluttony? How can people starve there while we gorge ourselves here? How do I reconcile those differences? How?

I pushed my squeaky cart down the shiny-tiled aisles, my head aching. I signed my credit card slip without looking at it. I willed the hot, angry tears not to fall from my eyes. Because I don't understand it. I don't know the answer. Children are starving, but that doesn't mean I should starve. Because they have no money for medical care doesn't mean I should not go to the doctor. Where is the inbetween?

God has blessed me so I can bless others. When I break that cycle, the truth about my heart is revealed. When I break that cycle, the scales tip crazily. When I break that cycle, I find myself crying at Target.

I mustn't break the cycle.


Anonymous Ron Davis said...

Well said. To quote a mutual friend...

"I'm just a little jealous of the nothing that you have.
You're unfettered by the wealth of a world that we pretend is going to last.
They say God blessed us with plenty;
I say you're blessed with less than me"

6:58 PM  
Blogger gretalynn said...

My favorite Andrew Peterson song, introduced to me by you, Miss Brandy! (Quoted above!)

Yes, the difference in standards of living stares at us when we USA'ers visit less affluent countries. We have a lot.

Your realizing it surpasses what many see; so many don't get it.

So, where's the inbetween? I don't know--I think none of us can really find that place. But, you've made the first step in making the realization. Now, you can make a difference by choosing not to live the way most of our disposable society lives. It's not easy...but it's possible to make changes.

My friend, Erin, a while ago talked about that on her blog. I'll send you the link and to some others. It's worth thinking about!

Don't feel guilty for the fact that God has blessed you with birth in a country that hasn't faced such hardships, or that He has given you a job that sustains your living costs. Go back and review all that He did for Israel. Not because they deserved it, but because He chose to do it. It's the same with us.

And, it's ok to cry at Target sometimes. :)

4:46 PM  

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