Sometimes, o.k. if I’m honest almost all the time, life is difficult. That’s not right, life is horrible. Not quite there, life is painful. Closer; life is rough. Life is terrible.
Some people in this world are blessed with a life that is only bad on occasion. They have food to eat, clothes to wear, healthcare, hope in the future, and go through life not just trying to survive but thriving. Or at least have an opportunity to thrive anyway.
Others in this world have no chance to thrive, or a much more limited opportunity to do so.
Working in the midst of those people day in and day out can take it’s toll. Especially since I cannot eradicate poverty. I do not have a magic prayer that will cure H.I.V. I cannot make someone love a person who is unlovable.
Yet I find myself happy, content, even joyful in the midst of dire poverty, sickness, and total abandonment of anything resembling decency.
How do I explain this?
I’m not sure I can. Giving up on the idea of changing the world I’m sure goes along ways to having a life of joy. Back when we first started this ministry I had a vision of reaching thousands with the message of hope. When we started feeding the hungry I was eager to feed hundreds and even create an environment where they would no longer need food assistance. I quickly gave up on those ideas. Even with a million dollars I couldn’t eradicate poverty. I cannot love a thousand people the way I can love 9 girls.
I gave up on the masses, and started to love and care for the individuals. I can care for 20 children, even when I can’t care for the 2 million plus orphans in the country. I can help individuals make sense of their lives and climb out of the hole poverty has created for them. I can help a single mother pay her hospital bill and secure her release from debtors prison.