First-World Heart Issues

Dear God,

A few days ago a glossy catalog arrived in the mail from my favorite clothing company. I flipped through it casually earmarking items I wish I could buy.  My budget just doesn’t allow for regular clothing purchases. While I may need a few pairs of pants to hug the hips my son so recently widened, I do not need any of the things I saw.

God, as I closed that catalog, I wondered how much money this first-world country put into that publication. The thousands of dollars spent on hiring impossibly thin models and on the photographers that manipulate those ladies and clothing digitally to show perfection. And those printers and that paper and all that waste to sell an item or two of clothing made by a poor woman in a third world country to me – a “budget-constrained” first-world woman.

I felt sick as I finished this line of thought.  Sick for the poor woman who sews my clothing for mere pennies while the company she works for spent millions making us  first-world women believe we needed those clothes to be thin or beautiful or successful.

I once read somewhere that if all the world’s wealth were redistributed equally, then everyone would have enough- just what they needed.

Now I’m not a communist, but God, sometimes I wonder why you’re not.  With a simple wave of your hand you could give us all the same amount.  The same resources.  The same opportunities.  But You don’t.  Why? Some of that is a mystery.

Yet, I think some of that is obvious.  I have more so that I can give more.

Isn’t that the parable of the talents? The Master gives them that money while He’s away.  Two of them grow that money for the master’s purposes and one of them just sits on it.  That third guy-he doesn’t enjoy the money or invest it or give it away.  It’s almost a burden to him and the time the Master is away is nearly a bore.  No risk, no love, no living with the Master’s purpose in mind.

Isn’t that the same thing we American first-world Christians are doing?  God has given us so much just by birth location: money, talents, luxury, and freedom.  We’re just burying it all in a tin can in the yard rather than using it for our Master’s Purpose.  We’re hoarding God’s gifting to accomplish His mission. Hoarding it.  All to ourselves.

God, you could wave your hand and give us all the same amounts, but instead you wait on our hearts.  You wait on us to recognize the reality of your love: the crazy-love that while we were still filthy wretches you died for us.  Died to claim us as your own family.  Because when we are filled with the reality of what you gave (everything) to love us, to save us, then we can’t help but want to share everything- especially You- with everyone around us.

Change our hearts, God, to be filled with the reality of the gospel so that we would give everything we have to the least of these.  After all, without Christ, we’d still be the the least of these.

Help me to love you with everything I have,

Melissa Ann

P.S. I’m blogging here for Compassion International.  It’s blog month, where we’re praying that 3108 children will be sponsored this month.  As of last week 837 children were already sponsored this month; isn’t that amazing? Pray about sponsoring a child in Jesus Name?