I’m reading this book. It’s about an 18-year-old girl who left her comfortable American life to go live in Uganda and love on orphans with Christ’s love.
It’s totally messing me up, y’all.
:: :: :: Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis :: :: ::
No, I don’t think that selling it all and moving across the globe is in our future, but I am seeing glimpses of change here in my everyday life.
The author, Katie Davis writes about the perspective on poverty that life in a Ugandan village has given her. She writes, “I’ve had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor. I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am. I put value in things. These children, having no things, put value in God. I put my trust in relationships; these children, having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord.”
Her observation of her own internal poverty has opened my eyes, not only to my own lack, but to the desperate need around me. Sure, I do not daily see children who walk barefoot down red dirt roads, but I do see in those around me and myself desperate need for Eternal Love, Grace Sufficient, and True Purpose.
I see so much striving to be prettier, to be smarter, to be richer, to be more important. And only now after 27 years of living here and doing this myself, am I beginning to open my eyes to the need. Each of these desires somehow masks a need I should be filling with God. He makes us beautiful, in Him is all wisdom, in His presence is true richness, and to Him be the glory.
I have had a couple of spirit-led moments where God gives me His eyes to see His heart for complete strangers. I teared up in my workout class, looking around the studio being struck with how beautifully unique each member of the class was created to be.
I meant it when I said this book was ‘messing me up’.
The other day I took the boys to McDonald’s. Now, I could go the route that the amount of money we spent on lunch could put a Ugandan child through school for three months, but I’m not going to. No, we went to McDonald’s and were minding our own (crazy, pre-nap) business in our booth, when a woman struck up conversation with me. As I was catching chicken nugget pieces in mid-air that my toddler was chucking, I managed to give her the most minimal response with a huge helping of “can’t you tell I’m a little busy?” body language.
She basically loitered at our table wanting to know the boys’ names, what we were up to, and what they were drinking.
Finally, God got ahold of my busy, important, prideful mind and told me to knock it the hell off. This daughter of the Most High King is needing, desperate even, for some conversation, for someone to care about what she is saying, for someone to ascribe to her immeasurable value.
O, Lord. Forgive me for how annoyed I was by her presence. Conviction on this has been a long time coming.
I changed my body language following my internal dialogue and began to ask her some questions.
Her name is Diane, she had just come from the music store buying new guitar strings, and she got a peppermint mocha. It was good and she was excited that they are back in season. OBoy’s white-blond hair reminded her of her nephew. We continued our conversation and my boys calmed just a little, which was my grace for the moment. After discussing Swedish heritage for a few moments, she wished us a merry Christmas and the boys waved bye-bye.
I am not in an orphanage in Uganda and I likely never will be. But here, in the McDonalds in Roseville, Minnesota, there is need. There is desperation. There is a poverty of love and compassion in myself.
Lord, help me to see it.