I am missing simplicity today. The days where the only thing I had to worry about was getting myself from one place to another on time. I am not saying that I don’t want my family, I would be completely and totally lost without them.. I am wondering if there is a way to take this crazy hectic life and get that simplicity back! Is there a way to not have to fight with kids over a simple chore? Or bake bread without getting sidetracked by a messy bathroom and burn it? (Yep, that’s the latest on the bread making journey! Facebook one day, dirty bathroom the next. I WILL BAKE BREAD ONE DAY DARN IT!! ) Is there a way to just slow down? Enjoy each moment rather then rushing through the day to get the mountain of laundry done, or a meal cooked on time.
I was awake at 3 am this morning. I just couldn’t sleep. So I lay there thinking back to probably the most simple time that I remember. (beside being a child and having nothing to do but go to school, and play :o) I was on staff at a Mission in Mexico for handicapped orphans. It was not an easy time. It was hard work, getting up with the roosters, and taking care of several handicapped children, most of whom could not do the most basic of tasks on their own. And it was HOT!! But it was SIMPLE. Get up, get dressed, go to early morning worship, get them dressed, take them to breakfast which was almost always oatmeal, clean up breakfast, bring them back, play with them, give them bottles, change diapers.. pray over them… sing songs to them. Read books to them.Go to a lunch of beans and rice, and then naps, then play with them some more, then a simple dinner and bed. And start all over again the next day. Simple.
Yet, I learned more about life, and God in those two months then I have at any other time in my life. Sitting up at night with one child that had breathing problems, pounding on her back to get the phlegm to release so she could breathe. Holding another while he cried, and no one knew why? Feeding one through a stomach tube. Trying to break through the barrier of one who had been abused to show her love, when she was afraid to be touched. Why did God allow these children to live? To suffer? And some to die? On a different visit to this same orphanage, there was a tiny little boy, named Mateo. A beautiful child. But while I was there, he went on to Heaven. And we mourned that baby. Because even though we knew he was in a better place where he would suffer no more, he grew into our hearts as we cared for him and loved him. No one knows why God allows these things to happen. But I do know that not a single person that has visited that orphanage left the same. Sometimes simplicity can be the most life changing. And I miss that simplicity.
I remember visiting local cardboard house towns, where children had nothing. Families of 8-10 people lived in tiny homes constructed out of boxes and pieces of tarp, if they were lucky. Yet, these people were HAPPY! They smiled, and ran and played. I remember attending a church service in one town, and the little building was packed with these families who had nothing, yet they raised their arms, and their voices and worshiped God with every thing they had. At one village a friend caught her skirt on a nail and it ripped badly, this lady comes out of her tiny home, with four small children attached to her, two in slings, and gave my friend her only other skirt. This woman who had almost nothing, was willing to give everything.
A couple months ago, I was cautioned by another Christian. This person had heard that I give out cold sodas, or hot drinks to people that sit outside our local grocery store asking for money. Which I don’t do. I have once, I knew the man. He wasn’t asking for money, he sits there and he prays for every carload of people that go in or out of the parking lot. Sometimes people stop and give him money, but he doesn’t ask. I happen to know that he loves Pepsi, and being a fellow Pepsi lover, if I see him there I will buy him one. But it just irked me that this fellow Christian would tell me that giving someone a drink was dangerous. We are the greatest Nation on earth. Supposedly one of the richest. But we have gotten so caught up in me, me, me, that it is considered craziness to give a fellow human being down on his luck a drink?! A verse in the Bible pretty much tells us to heap kindness on our enemy. That it will burn like coals. (hopefully someone knows where that is, because I don’t, and I am too tired to go out to the car and get my Bible this morning! :o) If a person means me harm, and I hand them a cup of coffee on a cold day, what will that do to them? People in third world countries, give the clothes off their backs, but here in America we can’t spare $.50 because that person might… what? What are the chances really that a homeless person standing outside a grocery store is going to harm you? I think America needs to go back to simplicity. A time where neighbors help their neighbors. A time where neighbors KNOW their neighbors! Next time I go shopping, I am buying an extra drink…
(Just so everyone knows.. NEVER give money.. buy a sandwich and a soda, a loaf of bread with PB&J or a small bag of dog food, if they have a dog. Keep it separate in a bag, so you can just pass it out the window with a God Bless you, Or God Loves you as you drive away. While I believe in helping people down on their luck, there are scammers out there :o)