Before I say anything, anything at all, I have another announcement to make about dear little Jack. HE TOOK 5 STEPS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT! AGGGGGHHHHH! Maybe 6. I started hyperventilating and lost track. It looked like real big boy walking, because he stopped in the middle of it to just stand there, like, ‘What the heck am I doing? I’m trying to reach Mom, but I just realized I’m doing something with my legs. Hmmm…oh well, I’ll just continue.” Then he continued and took 2 more steps after that. So it was like real standing by balancing his weight between his legs and walking. Later on during the night, we were at Chili’s with some friends, and I stood him on the seat to grab my purse, and he just stayed there, like a pillar of strength in the middle of a torrential storm. I’m sure I cried out so the whole restaurant looked over. That’s so fun. That makes up for earlier in the night when I had to introduce my friends (yep, males involved) to breastfeeding in public. It’s been awhile since I had to do that, so the only blanket I could find in my car that would allow sufficient modesty was one that I think I must have wiped my hands on after changing the oil. There was this huge black streak on it and it smelled a little, um, oily? Didn’t matter anyway, because Jack was like “I ain’t having no blanket over my head!” and tried to toss off the blanket while I’m trying not to expose myself and get the baby to stop crying and try to have a normal conversation. Ever so slightly awkward. Oh well, in about a month Jack will be weaned and I keep thinking my days of nursing might be over for good, so I’m still cherishig the bonding we have with it. Now that everyone didn’t want to hear about all that part, I’m moving on.

I’m continuing on my thing from yesterday, then I’ll get off. Sorry if I’m boring you…but I’m still the one that’s typing. BWA HA HA HA! Anyway, all this talk about poverty and I was thinking, “But I’m one of the richest people in the world.”  Statistically speaking anyway.  I don’t think I’m rich.  But I guess if I compare myself to majority of the world living in third world countries, I guess I am.  Therefore, it scares the heck out of me when I read verses like, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)  Maybe I’m not called at the moment to sell my house and give away all my possessions to the poor, but maybe I will be, and am I willing to do that?  Am I willing to live like the disciples, with just a purse on my back?  When I read things like that, I wonder how I could do that with Jack.   How can you do that with a family?  I guess that’s why Paul said it was better not to be married, so you could have the freedom to be homeless for God any time you wanted.

But I think if I am not called to sell my house and give away all my possessions at the moment, I am very much called to give to the poor still.  In fact, because I have been given much, I am expected to give more.  I have an even higher responsibility in that. I am still called to reach out to the oppressed and downtrodden.  Forget welfare, forget United Nations food aid, forget Red Cross.  It is my job as an individual in the Church.  When Nate and I went to Africa, a guy got up at the end of a church service and announced to everyone what the stipulations were for different members to receive money for the church.  For example, if a couple got married, they got approximately $100.  If a family member died, a person received about $300.  If someone had a baby, they got another amount.  Since there was no form of governmental welfare, the church took on the job for themselves.  I really think that’s the way it’s supposed to be, honestly. 

Maybe the reason it is nearly impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God is because we become comfortable in our wealth and convenience, and we forget about all the people who aren’t.  We don’t know what it’s like to have your entire family die from AIDS and get no treatment for it.  We don’t know what it’s like to walk for 8 miles to get water everyday.  Having no electricity.  And it sounds hard, so we don’t try to imagine it.  What would the world, the Church look like, if we gave so much to the poor it actually hurt us financially?   If the adopt-a-child overseas type programs say we can support a child for 30 cents a day, I wonder what would happen if every Christian, even just in America, was giving substantially to the poor.  It would change the world, and the way the world works. 

Not to be negative, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, realistically.  I was watching a movie the other night about St. Francis of Assisi called “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”.  (Sidenote, I had heard about it from a guy called Shane Claiborne who wrote a book called ‘The Simple Way’.  He talks about living simply in it, but I haven’t read the whole book yet, so I can’t say it’s good, but I’ve heard that it is.  I want to read it…) Anyway, I’m not necessarily recommending “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” either.  It was okay, but kind of weird.  There was this one line in it that really, really struck me and I want to live my life in this way.  The line says, “I’m not asking to be loved, I want to love.”  To love people in a way that doesn’t ask anything back from them.  This comment immediately made me think of how I feel about Nate now. Because it’s funny. Of course I really miss having him love me. I miss his sweetness and all the wonderful husbandly things he would do. But, really, what I miss more…is loving him. Not loving him just in my heart, because I can still do that. But being able, no, having the gift, of being able to actively love him. God allowing me to love Nate was even better than being loved by him. I try to keep that in mind now with Jack, and with all the people I know and meet. I especially try to keep it in mind for people that I know no one else loves. God, give me the grace to love people more. Please.

It can be anyone, but I really want to concentrate on completely helpless people who have no way out.  There are so many, but I narrowed it down (in my mind) to 4 of the worst atrocities that I personally want to focus on.  Here they are:

1. The Invisible Children in Uganda (children who are kidnapped or orphaned and forced to become child soldiers and kill others.  www.invisiblechildren.com)

2. Child sex trafficking victims (same thing, but forced to become prostitutes and held captive in brothels, read ‘Terrify No More’ by Greg Hausen or see International Justice Mission at www.ijm.org.)

3.  Aborted babies.

4.  The genocide in Sudan (www.savedarfur.org)

These definitely are not all, but they are ones I want to try to do at least what I can about them. And in the end, maybe it doesn’t matter if I saved them. Mother Theresa didn’t save her leprosy patients’ lives. She just cared for them and let them die with dignity in her little clinic in Calcutta. 

Okay, I’m finished with my two part series.  Thank you for humoring me. Since you made it to the end, I made you a Pink Lemonade Pie for Pie Day Friday today. Yum.

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