Monday, January 25, 2010

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Survival!


Yesterday as we were walking to work I saw a man digging through one of the garbage heaps that lie on the side of the road. I felt sick as I realized he wasn’t looking for thrown out treasures, but for food. I watched as he pulled out half-eaten pieces of bread and threw them into his bag. When I got here I changed a $100 bill—just one “Benjamin”. And because food is so cheap here according to our American standards, I don’t think I have used up three-quarters of it. When I go to the market I can easily pick up 2 kilos of Potatoes for just about a dollar. But, it is clear that this man didn’t have any “Benjamins” to change. So why him? And why me? Why does he have to live the life of a beggar while I live the life of a spoiled American teenager? It simply isn’t fair.

I went to feed the homeless once while I was at Southern. I was very apprehensive about it, but in the end I was really glad I went. They were some of the most grateful homeless people I had ever encountered. Afterwards, however, a severe pensive state had washed over me and my friend who went with me. My friend and I spent hours in the car talking about how life simply isn’t fair—how God isn’t fair. It doesn’t make sense that I am in a great situation where I my IQ is high enough to go to college and I somehow can get the tuition paid while there are others who suffer from mental retardation, the never-ending cycle of poverty and other brick walls. We sat in the car that night pouring out our emotions. Why us? Why were we the ones going to a private college, sitting in a nice car? Why weren’t we the ones out on the street scrounging for our next meal? We arrived at what I believe to be the only possible conclusion—God is love. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Love cannot be stuck in a tube and tested in a laboratory. It cannot be hooked up to a machine and examined. It is more than a fading emotion; it is a force. A force deep within every human being driving them to do good and seek the One who has first loved him. Love requires risk. When God created human beings in His own image, He risked everything. Love is worth any risk. He risked war, He risked suffering. This means that every time I walk the streets and I see the hungry, frail body of the beggar or the misunderstood face of the mentally disabled, every time I see the bruises of the beaten or the emotional scars of those who have been taken advantage of, every time I see these people, I am reminded of God’s relentless love. I am reminded that God would rather have the pain that goes with love than the abolishment of love. God gave us freewill to use to love Him and each other as well as to feel the exhilarating and exuberant joy that comes with being loved. As strange as it sounds, the reason for suffering here on this earth could only be logically be blamed on one thing—love. Some people have taken their freewill and used it to bash their neighbors against walls and hurt innocent children. It has become a sick and vicious cycle that extends to the generations to come. Each human has the chance to visit the deepest parts of the valley of suffering and if I were to stop my thoughts here, we would all be better off by jumping off the cliff of remorse. But, my thoughts do not end there. Because we have been to the lowest areas of the valley, I know that once I get on the top of the mountains before me, I will know peace, joy, and love better than any other creation. I have a promise that one day all of these tears will stop flowing and all of these bruises will stop aching. All of the scarred tissue will be repaired. Was it worth it? Enduring the pain for the sake of the existence of love? The God of the universe thinks so.

(Sabine, this is now that story you were asking for)

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