I see pain - I feel pain.
I see isolation - I feel isolation.
I see emptiness - I feel emptiness.
I see hopelessness - I feel hopelessness.
I see shame - I feel shame.
I see worthlessness - I feel worthless.
My hands are empty and I have nothing to give and I pray for God to show me what to give and what words to say - nothing is coming. It is so dark. As crippled beggars line the filthy streets, I see the wealth of our churches in America in my mind. I think of conversations that I will have with friends and churches when I come back who I will beg for the crumbs that have fallen from their table. I will have to fight for their attention and justify and explain the need and hope that they understand and that the story grips them. People will want to walk away and avoid me because I will want to talk about the pain, shame, suffering and hopelessness I saw in India and they will become annoyed.
As I walk in and out of brothels and meet the mothers, sisters, daughters and their children selling their bodies and souls because they have no worth and no other way to survive. I am struggling with how to explain that to my american friends who are busy and are already doing "a lot."
I think of the lives we live in America. All of us do it - myself included. We live lives of extravagant waste. Think of how much food we throw away. Think of the last time you had friends over to cook or the last church picnic you had and how much was wasted...I am not talking about what was eaten but what was thrown away. Think about the times when we over eat and spend money on things like ice cream, and lawn care, and art to decorate the boxes that we live in. I am not trying to judge because I am part of the problem.
Where I am right now, I have met some people who are our neighbors. Jesus asks a question, who is your neighbor? I am asking you, who is your neighbor?
As we stood in worship at a school, a boy fell from weakness from malnutrition. When have our children fallen from weakness do to malnutrition?
I know what you are thinking - I help already, it's too much, stop trying to manipulate me, I can't help every child.
I don't want you to help every child but as long as you have the capacity to act I want you (and me) to continue to help more and more. For most of us, we could become more disciplined and help them purely out of our waste and excess.
If you were going to chick fil and I said if no one in your family "up-sizes" we can use that money for food - would that help? If you are going to Starbucks and I said, get a tall instead of a venti - would that help?
I am not trying to play on your emotions but I am trying to help us understand that from our waste we can change live and help the hurting. Would you consider how you can make a difference by giving from your excess?