Did you know that my family's income is below the national poverty line? It's true and yet we live in a nice apartment which is comfortably furnished and delightfully decorated. Tonight we'll sleep in that apartment and we'll be safe and warm (or cool, rather, since its still warm enough to run the air conditioning). Our closets are full of nice clothes and the boys had to clean up their toys several times today so that no one would trip over them.
We have reliable transportation at our disposal any time of the day or night. Jackie is able to drive to work without worry. Today I used our van to drive to the grocery store where I chose several meals for our family---diverse, easy-to-prepare, healthy foods. We can prepare those foods with clean running water and will probably throw away left overs.
I'm able to communicate these things to you right now because we have high-speed Internet. Even if we didn't, I could call you up on my cell phone or Skype with you on Jackie's Xoom.
Yes, we are "poor" and yet live in excess. Only in America, I suppose.
Today I also drove the van to buy some presents. Those presents were put inside a small shoe box which will travel to some part of the world unknown to me. Some little girl will open that shoe box and find some trinkets to treasure...colored pens and a notepad, some stickers, a purse, hair bands, lip gloss, a glittery pink hairbrush, a toothbrush and tooth paste, and a bead craft kit. I'll never meet her (this side of heaven, anyway) but I've seen the pictures of children opening similar gifts. Oh, their smiles! The joy at receiving such small somethings to call their own! What I gave was nothing. God please make it something. Use my tiny service to Your glory. Thank You, Lord, for all of the blessings You've bestowed upon me. Help me to be ever thankful. May I see the world through Your eyes and look not to tending my selfish desires but to doing more, giving more, loving and caring for Your people. I want to be like You.
"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." Deuteronomy 15:11
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18