Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Told Jesus I am Sorry

Today I went into town to stock up on supplies for the next month and a half. Due to the upcoming elections, it is becoming less and less wise to make the drive from our current location into the capital. Because the U.S. Dollar holds it’s value, I wait until shopping days to exchange money. Some things are really expensive (instant coffee was selling for $30...Frosted Flakes sold for about $15) but most things are similar in price (or less) to what they cost in the states - that is, if all the purchases are made on the same day the money is exchanged. I have budgeted out how much I can spend each time I come into the city. I exchange it - then I go shopping until I have no more Zim left.

At the second stop (out of four) I found quite a few useful things, I bought 10kgs of potatoes for around $5(I have eaten more potatoes in this last month than I did growing up in Idaho) ...I also found curry, fruit juice concentrate, a bit of meat (they even had bacon for a good price J), and a few other random items (At one of the stores I found live culture yogurt…I am going to use it to start making my own yogurt with powdered milk. I hope it works).

As I was putting all of my recently purchased items into the trunk of the car (already half full of other groceries), an old man, with grey hair and three missing teeth, came up to me. In a low mutter, He began to beg for money : “I need something to eat. I am starving. Please give me something.” Still muttering, He started walking right at me.” Please - something, anything.” It all happened so quick. I jumped into the passenger seat, looked Him in the eye, and told Him, “I am sorry.”

As we pulled away I could see the look of disappointment on His face. The words of Jesus suddenly came to mind:

He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left. "Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' "Then the righteous will say to him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you something to eat, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' The king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, in that you did it for one of the least important of these my brothers, you did it for me.'
(Mat 25:33-40)

How can I call myself a Christian when I don’t even have compassion towards Christ? Until I learn to give all I have to all who need - there is no place for me in the Kingdom of Heaven. The most difficult part of my time spent here is daily having to ask G-d show me how I am to be compassionate towards my Brother. I already know who my brother is - it is the 6 year old who has been diagnosed with HIV. It is the person who has been beaten for political beliefs. It is the person who is beating others because of political beliefs. It is the Sick. It is the Orphaned. It is the Children abandoned because of promiscuity. It is the young. It is the old. These are my Brothers and Sisters…this is my family.

But if a man has this world's goods, and sees that his brother is in need, and keeps his heart shut against his brother, how is it possible for the love of God to be in him? My little children, do not let our love be in word and in tongue, but let it be in act and in good faith. In this way we may be certain that we are true, and may give our heart comfort before him,
(1Jn 3:17-19)

1 comment:

arlen and dani said...

Hi Trenton, sometimes we must trust the Lord in our impulse or instinct to protect us or direct us!! In a place of such impoverishment, don't let Satan rob you of joy or make you feel guilty because you can't meet everyone's need. Arlen and I lift you in prayer often. Thanks for your descriptive and insightful blog entries. We're so proud of you! Love you bunches, Dani