(This image & article is of wikipedia.org.)
To fathom living on $1.25 per day blows my mind. Take away my home's food supply and start the day with only $1.25 and what do I do? Maybe I can buy a small bag of rice and a small off-brand can of beans and then pray that my bill doesn't exceed the amount in my pocket. If it does exceed, then I might put the beans back and get as much rice as I can and next time do the same with the beans. (I don't know.) Then, I will need to prepare the rice and beans and ration them throughout the day. This is what I would do for myself. Now, in the scenario where it's not just me, but also my partner and our children. We have to make this meal last as long as we can, do our best to keep it from spoiling (we are too poor to afford luxuries of air condition or even a small fan, let a lone a good refridgerator.), and we have to consider other needs that we have, aside from food. The children need to see the doctor when they are too sick to be treated at home, which is usually a spontaneous occurance, and we feel that we need some type of toilet paper and we need soap to clean our clothes. $1.25 per day. Ummm??? O.k. I can deal with hearing my stomache talk for a day, and maybe even push through two. Maybe I could trick my mind by only eating a small spoon full of rice and beans, one for each day. Maybe if I don't eat, the food will last longer and we can use the extra money for the paper and soap. As far as the doctor, we don't have the $, ever, because we have to eat. So, we have to use what natural resources we can find, that are free, to help us cope and pull through times of infirmity. We need to have a lot of faith. But, what if we don't know about God?
Wow!!! I've literally survived on crackers w/ketchup for a whole month, once before. I didn't make enough money to cover buying groceries and paying all of my due bill payments for that month. I had a new doctor bill and it really through my grocery budget "out the window". I was much younger and decided that I wasn't going to tell anybody because I wanted so badly for the people who knew me to see me as being able to take care of myself and succeed on my own, and it was my very first apartment/place on my own, alone. Yes, I got hungry many times, but I pretended that I was eating "normal" food and imagined it many times as I crunched into the salty crackers and induldged in the tomatoey taste of the ketchup. It helped me to get through it.
What I wander is, how I could live like that while "knowing" that this was a life sentence, the poverty. No bigger paycheck by next month to help me bounce back and afford "real food." And with children?
My deepest heart's desire has been, and is still, to reach out in humanitarian/missionary work, as best I can, and make a difference for people in the world like those who live in poverty and need. Sometimes my heart cries out, "Now!! I need to go NOW!! People are dying and more people are needed to help make a difference. I KNOW without a doubt I am one of those chosen people!! Now. Tomorrow is too late!!!!"
Sometimes, to cook a "good" pot of rice, a good boiling is needed. A grain of rice goes into the boil as a hard piece. It is through the rise of the temperature and the thrashing of the boiling water that the rice begins to cook. After so long of boiling, the rice begins to soften and become more flexible, making it usuable to fulfill its job. Once it has reach the desired softness, the cook usually reduces the temperature and covers the rice pot with a lid to let the rice simmer. It is through the simmering process that the rice absorbs the water, as well any seasonings that might have been added. This part of the process can change the appeal of the rice, totally.
In "being" with the desires of my heart and my thoughts of people who are victims of the worst real poverty in this world, and from "being" with the overwhelming "need" and pull of my heart to Go Now, I have realized that I am like that rice.
I think that I am ready, AND, I imagine that I'm really not. Otherwise, in my mind, God would have already made a way for me to be gone fulfilling my heart's calling. I am going into the pot for preparation just the same as a hard piece of rice.
God has put it clearly to me that I am to go to school for Nursing. Every since I was little, in elementary school, and read a little book about Mother Theresa, I have wanted to go into undesired places and help people. There have been soooo many times when I turned and returned the thought of quitting college so that I could work above and beyond what was needed to make sure that the bills were paid and that then there was "nothing" to worry about. However, God has helped me to hang on and reminded me sooo many times of my calling. Sometimes I think to him, "God isn't there another way? Some way where it doesn't take so long to get to the big picture of my service for you?? And God, perhaps one that isn't so costly???" Maybe I'm just not listening carefully enough, after asking those questions, but I never really hear anything back. However, I do somehow get a second, third, seventeenth, etc. wind and feel renewed to continue on and stay focussed just long enough on school not to worry about other things and I am able to pass through the firey tests and finals.
I figure this must be the boiling process. You know, I could eat a piece of uncooked rice and maybe the only complication would be that it would be hard on my teeth. The thing is, what is the benefit? Where is the taste? Where is the pleasing feeling that my stomache gets from cooked rice? Maybe in order to please God we need to go through the process. I, like rice, in my mind "am ready to go NOW" and therefore have been stiff and without benefit to God. By going through the boiling emotions and the thrashing thoughts that stir-up thrashing and deep soul prayers for these people, etc.. I have begun to soften and become more flexible, like the boiling rice. I imagine that God says, "Ahh, now she's getting more tender. Good. I can use her before too long. Just a little longer and then she'll be ready. But a little longer."
Maybe in the simmering, God will pour out his special blend of seasonings on me. Then again, perhaps the simmering process of an experience comes before the seasoning. Maybe the seasoning comes with the experience. Regardless, As I have begun to allow myself to lay back against the "churning water", and have stopped fighting the process, I realize that God can not only use me more, once I am ready (according to his plan) but that maybe he will find good flavor and favor in the future finished product of my life in his will.
Until next time,