I realized something this morning, as I watched a video or two of Hillsong United. The first video showed them playing a concert somewhere in India (I think) and the massive audience was singing along with the song, as if they’d sang it a million times before. Then I watched them singing “Touch the Sky” in Spanish, as it looked like they were playing somewhere in Mexico or Brazil. Even in Spanish, everyone in the audience was singing along, praising God… It was Beautiful!
And for the first time, I realized how music is spreading the Word of God, the Love for God, across the globe. Being in America, we tend to think we ARE the Christian base, the Christian believers of the world. But missionaries have been spreading the word for centuries, all across the world. It made me tear up, watching them singing such a beautiful song, completely in Spanish. It sounded wonderful. And the love and joy they were feeling is clearly visible.
During both video’s they were showing at different times the conditions these people were living in, the trash dumps, tiny one room shacks with sheets for walls, the flies in their eyes, even one woman was living in a giant cement pipe used for sewage, but empty at the time, and lying somewhere in a desert town; here toddler runs to her as she sits in the shade of the pipe. And my heart is breaking, knowing these people are just barely living, barely alive, without food, without even a box for a home, just barely surviving on the edge of life…. and here we sit, eating fattening cheeseburgers and pizza, living in giant new homes, palaces to them… talking on our phones, and complaining the service isn’t fast enough and our electric bills are our of control.
And yet, it isn’t our fault we were born here, in the luxury of the US. It isn’t our fault that we have school systems in place to teach our children, and libraries to learn from, or parents with the ability to take care of us until we can take care of ourselves. YES, none of that is our fault, or our choice. We were born into it.
But can you even wrap your mind around the thought that someone else was born into poverty… like none you have ever seen? No home, no clothes, eating dirt to fill your empty cramping painful stomach, no water unless you drink the gray and brown puddle that’s been shit in by a cow or goat, or human. Such utter poverty that you scour through a dump site looking for a bent fork to bend back into shape and sell for less than a penny to get a teaspoon of rice to eat. Or find a dirty stained shirt to wear, because yours no longer has sleeves or is the same shirt you wore for 5 years and it’s too small for you or in filthy tatters.
No. You can’t imagine it, not until you see it live. Or live it. Just the simple idea that you have a flower in your yard to gaze at, one you may have planted yourself, and the poorest of the poor have never seen a flower. They see dirt, for miles on end, nothing but dirt; dirt and sand, blowing in the wind, into your eyes, covering your body, and they have never even seen a single flower. Because where there is no water, there are no flowers. Or food, or weeds, or herbs, or trees. Nothing, but pain, hunger, thirst, cold nights and baking hot days, and no home to go to. No parents to help. And certainly no government that will help you in any way.
That is what they live with daily. What they survive. Could you survive that?? Could I??
This is what God meant when He said “Take care of the poor!”
The true poor. Not some woman or man who is too lazy to support themselves and lives off welfare so they don’t have to work, stating they can’t work because no one will hire them, or they have back problems, or allergies, or whatever lame excuse they come up with. They are only poor in spirit. They have no idea what it is like to be truly poor. Plus here, they will not go without food. Even our poorest of the poor can walk to a soup kitchen, or get get food stamps, or stay in a shelter if there is room, and be fed. Yes we have poor people who are starving and homeless, but they can find food if they aren’t too messed up on drugs or alcohol to get it. Being homeless is a far greater issue, once in a while it is due to choice, but for the most part if they choose to, they can work their way back to a poor existence, one where they have some sort of shelter and money for food.
I myself have been poor for as long as I can remember. But I never go without a job or food, and I may live in a crappy trailer, but it has a roof and bathroom and running water that spews out of a faucet, so I don’t have to walk miles to get it. Or boil it just to drink it. I have always considered myself monetarily poor, but never truly poor. That is a whole new level I am thankful I will never have to endure. Because I live here. Because I have parents who would still take care of me if I needed help. Cousins, Uncles, Brothers and Sisters too. All who I could contact if I needed to for help.
The true poor have no one. NO ONE BUT YOU and GOD!
So the next time you are on your cell phone, and can’t upload your favorite song, that you are willing to spend $5.00 for…. think about the people around the world who could feed their entire family for that measly $5.00…. and do something about it! YOU CAN LIVE without it. THEY CANNOT!!!!!!
THAT is being a TRUE CHRISTIAN!!!