I have seen the face of poverty many times throughout my life. I traveled to Guatemala multiple times for mission work in high school. Daily walked by the homeless on the streets of Washington D.C. in college. While we stayed in our Americanized hotel in Ghana people were outside the hotel gate who had nothing.
Yes, I have seen the faces many times. Yet every time I go back to my comfortable way of life. A beautiful house, a fridge filled with food, hot water for bathing and clean water for drinking. I get caught up in the day to day activities and soon forget. The food in the fridge may go low and I complain about grocery shopping. The hot water heater goes out and I feel as if I can’t function. The house feels cramped with toys and baby things and I say we need a bigger house.
While we live like royalty compared to the majority of the people in the world, with every modern convenience and new gadget. No concern where my next meal will come from or if I will have food for my children, others are starving. My brothers and my sisters suffer. Working hard just to keep a piece of tin over their heads.
In recent months my heart is ever more convicted. Some days it’s hard to find peace. I sit down for dinner knowing people who don’t have adequate food. I am faced with so many school choices for our sons knowing families who will never be able to afford to send their children to any school. As my heart wrestles with the truth I know God is at work.
It was easy for me to ignore until it became personal. I would like to say our sons didn’t experience poverty, but they did. Not something they just saw, but something they lived. How easy it is for me to forget and how incredibly difficult it is for me to grasp.
Now knowing families and children who daily live in crisis has called me to look at how I live my own life. Striving to be more mindful of my spending so in return I can help ease someone else’s pain and perhaps make their burden a bit more light.
“Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” St. Teresa of Avila