5 weeks ago
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I think I was most struck by the vast differences between rich & poor in Los Angeles California. Way back when I was in Bible School we did a "missions trip" down to Mexico but we spent a few days in LA doing some missions work right in the thick of things in the inner city. This part stands out in my memories far more than the work we did in Mexico because in LA we were right in the middle with the people.
I can remember sharing my breakfast with a woman who gave me the skinny of her life story, how it came to be where she was at, and then she carried on her day. Every where around us was small cardboard houses leaned up against stone walls, shopping carts full of belongings and people who were really 'down & out' on life. It didn't feel like we walked an entire block to take some stairs above the city and look down on this from sparkling high rises feeling like 'lifestyles of the rich and famous'. We went from cardboard & dirt to palaces in less than a minute. I couldn't grasp how all this wealth could be so oblvious or uncaring to what they saw beneathe their windows every single day. It dumbfounded me.
When I went to Africa, I knew that I was going to see an entire nation that was poor but when I was there, I was surprised to see happy & friendly people. There wasn't such an obvious contrast of side-by-side rich & poor, that when everyone around you is in the same boat, it seemed they just sort of embrace it for what it is & continue on with joy. Oh, I'm sure they still have some amazing struggles, but there was still joy & warmth in their faces.
I don't know why God allows some of His children to suffer with poverty & others to sip from golden cups but I'm sure there is a lesson in there for both ends of the spectrum. The impoverished to learn how to trust & be content & the fortunate to learn that all that He has given can be taken away if they 'shut their ears to the poor'. It is a good reminder for me when I can sit here feeling 'contently blessed' and wondering what I can do to help. There is always someone less fortunate that can use our help with the love of God shining through us!
Posted by Becky Wolfe at 6:08 AM