Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Step In It
So, I had a rather unpleasant experience last night. My husband, at 12:30am woke me from my comatose like slumber to announce that the dog had just puked under the bed. Not fully coherent, I responded with, "we'll get it in the morning." A few minutes later, I hear the dog making that sound that comes just before he blows chunks. Now fully awake, I leap to my feet to try to get the dog outside before the explosion.
I hit the ground running. Around step two, I felt it -- warm, gooey yet slightly chunky, dog vomit squishing between my toes. Worse yet, I was in a full sprint, so I flung it about six feet out in front of me. I managed to get the dog outside, while keeping the rest of the vomit delicately balanced on my toes to prevent spreading it throughout the house. (It was a fun combination of half running, hopping and limping).
When I returned to my bedroom with some cleaning supplies Eric, being the compassionate husband he is, informed me that the mess could wait until the morning. Of course, he didn't realize it was between my toes. He took one look at the "evidence" gagged and turned away.
Of course, the experience was too entertaining not to share, but I've found some application here as well. Authors of two of the blogs I follow (Pete & Anne) are in India right now with Compassion International. Reading their stories and watching videos from the trip really illuminates the great needs that exist half a world away. The thing is, I can skim their blog posts or choose not to watch their videos. I can engineer my experiences so that the problem does not exist to me -- just like the ignored dog vomit didn't exist to me.
But when I get involved, join a cause, choose to subject myself to the suffering of others, I step in it and I can't ignore it. Its messy, its inconvenient and it stinks, but I can't ignore it anymore than I could ignore the dog vomit dripping between my toes last night.
Eric has been proposing that we take the students on an out-of-country mission trip next year. In my mind, I've been debating it -- it'll be so expensive, too much to organize, there is so much we could do here, etc. But if I really get to the heart of the matter, I don't want to feel bad. I don't want to step in it, because it'll be messy and I'll have to do something about it. On the other hand, that is exactly what I want to happen in the hearts of the students. I want them to have to roll around in it so they will understand riches in Christ Jesus and true poverty. Why am I such a hypocrite?
at 2:30 PM