And I've been thinking about it a lot today. We all want the same thing.
BUT as Americans, sometimes we do not have the slightest clue as to how that feels for the mother whose child is quite literally starving to death. Or dying of thirst. We cannot pretend to understand how the feels...at least I cannot pretend. And I know very few people who can.
All of my basic needs are met. BEYOND met.
All of my kids' basic needs are met.
But I have seen a small glimpse of what it could be like. And I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again. Remember when I felt like I was literally suffocating. I've never felt that way before.
Could. not. breathe.
And these were not even my children.
What if they were?
What if it were me sitting in a make-shift tent/home with very little food.
Ayla strapped to my back.
Breathing in toxic smoke while I was preparing the little bit of food in our "home".
Smoke filling our home.
I can even begin to imagine what I would do. Because if I couldn't breathe when I was watching these families from the outside, then what would I do if it were me?
I would be praying. Begging. Pleading.
Thinking "DEAR GOD! I will do anything if you just send someone. Send hope. Please God. Something. Anything."
I sit here in my warm, big, comfy home. Lights on my Christmas tree. Gifts underneath. Cleaning out my fridge and actually throwing old food away. Running water to bath my dog. Watering my indoor plants. Taking long, hot showers.
And I am struggling with that.
Struggling with living with abundance.
Because we live in America. It's our life. We cannot escape the stuff.
But we can open our hands. Open our eyes. Open our hearts.
Let go of our pre-conceived notions about what giving has to look like.
Let go of the stipulations that go along with the gift.
Open our hands and soften our hearts because Jesus tells us to.
Because from the little I have seen in the life tells me that these mothers are praying.
For someone to show up. Someone to give them hope. Someone to teach them. Love them.
And I want to be one that shows up.
Not because it's cool or because my friends are doing it.
But because I care. Because I have been given much and therefore I have a great responsibility.
And I do not take that lightly. Not in the least.
I take it very seriously. It keeps me up at night.
So as the holidays approach and I feel completely overwhelmed with the materialism, teaching my kids the true meaning of the season, making sure my family and friends know I love and care for them, allowing God to use me for good, and on and on and on. I pray that I don't forget that feeling.
The overwhelming, suffocating feeling.
Because it changed me. Who I am. What I believe. How I view social justice and giving and loving. It changed it all. In that moment I became a different human being. Everything I knew to be true, was all blurry and unrecognizable.
As difficult as it is, I will continue to choose to suffer with the least of these.
As Kay Warren states in her book Dangerous Surrender
Choosing to suffer with proves our love for our Savior and at the same time proves to the least, the last, and the lost that there is a Savior who loves them.We all want the same thing.
It's true. It might look a little different for the homeless woman or the starving baby. But we all want a chance. God, help me be a part in giving someone a chance.
If you're anything like me, you are always looking for ways to give.
This Christmas, I'm giving COAL and WATER and sponsoring children here and here.
And I'm praying. And fighting the urge to swim in the materialism that surrounds us during the holidays.
And I am grateful for those that are giving us the opportunity to be a part of restoring dignity to those people who may have never experienced it before.
So very grateful.