Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mirror from across the world

Have you guys ever experienced something so profound that just by its very being, it showed you what you are not?

Such was the case at Canaan Children's Transit Center. This was our first stop in Jinja on Thursday afternoon and our first stop of the whole trip. Canaan (pronounced Ka-Non) is an orphanage with 100 children, a school, clinic and the beginnings of a farm. The children live in concrete buildings with 20 or so bunk beds in each room. It takes poverty and slaps you in the face with it. The children were precious and LOVED the balloon animals. (PS: Thanks to Amy C who taught herself and then taught the rest of us how to do balloon animals for one of our events at church!!) While Dan, Greg and Jon got the tour of the facility, the rest of us spent our time just playing with the kiddos. It was during our "play" time that I got the mirror shoved in my face (metaphorically!).


Christine and I were sitting around with the older girls when they started singing. These precious girls who were growing up in a dirty orphanage with torn clothes began to sing about the goodness of God, "we praise you because of all of the good things you have done for us!" I got tears in my eyes just listening to them sing praises about HOW GOOD GOD IS and all of the things that He had done for them.

The truth is that compared to that moment, my reflection in the mirror is heart breaking. So often, I question God's goodness and begin to complain when. . oh you know, big things happen like bad weather, my kids are whiney, I feel fat (a whole other blog post about our world vs theirs), I don't feel cute in my clothes, I'm hungry, I'm bored or a 100 other things that DON'T MATTER! ok, I might not truly question God's goodness at those times but I sure do forget it. And, here are these girls whose lives have contained more hurt in their short years than I have experienced and they continue to sing about how good God has been to them. Let that be our challenge this week. . .God keep that mirror in my face. Continue to show me my sinful heart. . I confess it, please change it. Make me like these girls and help me to praise YOU no matter what.

14 comments:

S and K said...

Speechless...truly. Wow.

So, I can't wait to see you in about two weeks or less and I can't wait to hear all of this in person.

Also, I replied to the panda comment on my blog comments.

Love you,
Katy

steffany said...

I know. It's humbling. Having Gadese here is a daily reminder for me. I miss africa.
I read a quote somewhere from Africa that basically said-They know Americans pity them and their circumstances, but they pity us.

I agree

Vanessa said...

My biggest dream was to one day travel to Africa and I'm still praying God will grant me this desire!

Andrea said...

This is awesome. Thanks for all the posts. I love reading them.

Missy said...

thank you for holding the mirror up for me this morning. Love you.

jena said...

I often ponder/reflect on the times in my life when I was closest to Jesus. Honestly when I am at the bottom with little hope of finding my way out and at the top during a time when God has worked in amazing ways, I cling to Him most. When I'm just cruisin through a 'normal' stage/season/day... it is less.

Lord, each day may praise be real, personal and given freely from each of us in this little blogger community!

And Steffany... nice quote.... kinda stung though!

Dearest Jessica said...

So cool to see what your learning through all this.

We always think we are doing these things for others and then realize it is also about us and the lessons we need to learn.

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Great post! A good dose of perspective.

Danielle said...

Such a beautiful picture of a child of God. I think of when Jesus encourages us to have a childlike Spirit - to me that is trusting in his goodness and believing in his love when life is scary and hard.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

This post made me cry. I needed to hear this. Thank you. I just wish I could take them all in my arms and keep them. I pray God helps me to fulfill this desire in my heart. And that this is truly His desire and not just mine.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Hey, I'm going to link to this post. Love it.

Faith said...

Africa does that to me too. Slaps me in the face with your metaphorical mirror. I wish it was something that would slap me more often each week but sadly, it is hard to remember.

Julie said...

This is so good and reminds me so much of our time in Ethiopia. I want you to know that I am eagerly reading all about your trip and say ... post as much as you want to! I know it's helping you process and it's good for us to read about your experiences and what God taught you.

Wife to the Rockstar said...

thanks for the awesome reminder.