After an April morning of sewing classes, Sonia walks home to a tent. ~ I walk up a flight of stairs to an air-conditioned dormitory.
Mirlaine may or may not have clean water to quench her thirst. ~ I pour a small glass of filtered water and then pop open a bottle of Coke and relax.
Venette may have some beans and rice to feed her kids for lunch. Or maybe there is only enough food for dinner tonight. ~ I sit in the cool comfort of the dining room and wait as my lunch is prepared for me.
I’m doing something so good. Aren’t I? Spending a week with Haitian moms. Sharing my skillset. Putting in my hours. Sleeping in a dormitory bunk. Taking cold showers.
Pat me on the back won’t you? For I have served. I have sacrificed. I have earned my badge of generosity.
Maybe you’ve earned your badge of generosity too. Maybe you and I have both done our good deeds and earned the favor of God and others.
Or maybe not. Surely we bless others when we give, but our giving doesn’t make us good. And even if I do wonderfully charitable things like travelling to Haiti, it means nothing if I do it out of self-righteousness.
Venette and Mirlaine and Sonia are just women like me. They don’t want to be the vessels through which I earn my so-called goodness. The receptacles by which I gain points in the world of philanthropy.
They want to be seen and known for who they are. Not just one speck in the masses of the poor and needy. But individuals created by God with purpose and meaning. Knitted together in their mother’s wombs by the same God who formed me.
Though I desire my faith to be so deep it reaches the very inmost parts of my being, I’m certain their faith runs deeper than mine. A faith that must trust in the Lord every day to provide the basic necessities of life by nature must be deeper than a faith that never questions where the next meal is coming from.
Lord, let me always see others through your eyes. Forgive my self righteousness and pride. Let me learn from those you call me to serve. Give me an understanding of how small I am and how big you are. Amen.
James 2:5 “Listen my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him?