Friday, March 14, 2014

When Introspection Isn't Pretty

In case you thought I was over here being all holy and righteous....

One would think that living here among people who struggle to survive daily, would make it easier to let go of my United States-ian comforts.
I knew coming down here that I would have no idea where and what kind of house I would be living in. I thought I had come to grips with having cold and unreliable water before I got here, not being able to drive, etc., etc., etc. {yawn, blah blah blah, poor me}.

I thought I had it well under control, until the other night, anyway. When you become blatantly aware of your own princess-like demands out of life, its a bit hard to stomach. 

I went to go wash my hair and was putting off and dreading the moment of contact with the icy water. I'm not proud of it, but I had a long inner dialogue. It went something like this: 
*Alex is a big meanie for not buying and/or fashioning me some sort of hot water creating device
*thinking of paying a hotel to just let me have one hot shower
*lamenting the way I had forced Addison and Donovan into the cold shower minutes before. Not allowing for any tantrums or talking back, as they stepped their little bodies into the cascading ice.

Shame on me!! Midway through my mini- pity party, thankfully, I slapped my own self upside the head. Which is tricky. I spent a good 31 years in the land of entitlement and overflowing creature comforts. I should have known that it would take longer than a month to let go of the old self. I'm allowing myself only a smidgen of grace here, however.

Just last week I spent time making, delivering and sharing food with people who have NO running water, no showers. People who have dirt floors, and wash their hair in a bucket (when they have water and shampoo), and are thankful for their bucket, and their water. People who share a one room house and have no beds, no fans and no air conditioning. And are thankful for their house. I was also at an orphanage, where there aren't Daddies and Mommies, to make sure the sweet children are showering, checking them for lice and then lovingly there, to brush and braid after.

I have water everyday. Thank you God for my water. 
I have a shower, and a tiled floor. Thank you God. 
I have money to buy enough shampoo AND conditioner for 4 girls' heads of hair. Thank you God.
I have a bed to sleep on, that is bug free!  Praise you GOD!!

I temporarily forgot that I moved to the tropics yes, but not to be pampered at a resort. 
I temporarily forgot that I desperately want just Jesus. More Jesus.
I temporarily forgot that I want to be the kind of person who gives it ALL up for Him.
He said "take up your cross and follow me." He did not say, "Pack your suitcase, we'll stop along the way for a fancy meal and get you tucked in early at a 5 Star Hilton. Occasionally I will ask you to tell someone about me, but you can get back into the air conditioning quickly."

(Edited)I am so ashamed that I even gave a moment of thought that I was in any way sacrificing. Sacrifice is giving up your very life, being tortured and killed for spreading the news of Jesus Christ.  Which is literally happening around the world. I am NOT sacrificing. I am comfortable beyond reason in my circumstances.

Graciously, He reminded me. Chasing a life of abundance and excess and watered down faith was so unfulfilling.  Faith just enough to get me to Heaven..... that was no life for me at all. 

Please remind me Lord that when you come for me, I want to have lived my life proclaiming your glory. I don't want to pick and choose what I do and don't like from the Bible. Its your word and its all truth. 
Faith that conforms to my way of life, is limited. Who would want a limited God?? I want YOU God.
Faith that is all about tolerance is not truth. 
Faith that takes the good, but ignores the justice, is half a faith. 

I want the God of the Bible. The one God. I want the God of Love. I want the God of Righteousness. I want the God of sacrifice. I want the God of Justice. Oh how I want and depend on the God of Forgiveness and Grace. I want the God who says the He LOVES and longs for every person on this blessed earth to receive Him as a father. Every person. Ev-uh-ree person.
I don't want a God that would pick and choose by wealth, station, power, race, lifestyle. I want the God that says He wants everyone. But lets not forget that while he wants every person, he says every person is a sinner. Every one of us. Wants us. Forgives Us. But we ALL have crap that needs cleansing. All of us.
I want the God who will forgive me just as quickly as He will forgive every other person, for every single thing. He is a God who is intolerant of sin. But he is also a God who will lovingly wait and welcome every sinner into his arms. 

That's the God I want. That's a God I can easily give up hot water for, and anything else he asks of me. That's a God who I would lay down my life for. The God who laid down his life for me. I am thankful for my water. And the God who created it.

I am here, out of the immeasurable, overflow of gratitude that I have. 

1 comment:

  1. Mari -- love your heart, friend! Keep walking closely with Him, and sharing these insights and messages from the Lord. Thanks for sharing your journey, and that of your family. Love you and praying for you!!