Monday, May 4, 2009

Reflections From Africa: Perspective

Going on an overseas mission trip is such a great way to put one's life in proper perspective.  You have a chance to get away from your normal surroundings, disengage from your routine, leave the responsibilities of wife/husband, mother/father, daughter/son behind.

I was just amazed at the quiet.  I hadn't had quiet, much less 2 weeks of relative quiet for a very, very long time.  (For example, at this current moment I have a four year old who has said "Mommy" approximately 47 times in the last 3 minutes.  He is trying to poke his finger in my eye and is incessantly drumming on my arm for no apparent reason.  When I ask him what he needs, he says, "nothing.")

When you have that much quiet, it is just amazing how much space your brain has to think.

Each of us has our own unique challenges in our lives.  For some of us, it is financial challenges or loss of a job.  For some, it is having children with special needs.  Some battle depression or anxiety.  Other are grieving a loss.

What if you had to deal with those unique challenges in your life, AND at the same time...

didn't have any clean water to drink?

were lucky to have one meal per day?

wore shoes that were 2 sizes too small?

couldn't go to school because you don't have the money to pay for a uniform?

have a parent that is dying of AIDS (or no parents at all)?

lived in daily fear of being raped by your neighbors...or your grandfather?

were sick and didn't have access to proper medical care?

We are so privileged in this country.  So blessed.  We have so much.  If you begin to think that you don't have enough, taking a step into someone else's world is all that it takes to remind us that we have so very much. 

I know that is all it took for me.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no
pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love
with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” I John 3:17-18

 "If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 

or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,

and did not share any of it with orphans"

Job 31:16-17

 "Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, 
Plead for the widow."   Isaiah 1:17


John, Carla & Rae Shaw said...

Thank you Courtney! That was awesome. Hope you are doing good. Wish you were here! Blessings!

Jen said...

GREAT perspective, Courtney! You really wrote this beautifully!

sarah p said...

This was amazing to read, Courtney. What a neat perspective. Thanks for sharing those verses. I'm so glad you were able to go on this trip!

Mark said...

This is great, Courtney. Thanks for sharing this poignant perspective. (Aunt Patty)