A note: As servant of the Compassion Bloggers, I deal with poverty on a daily basis. It is heavy, It is ugly. There are so many days defeat is living there right next to me. I found my therapy. I write to poverty. Below you will find my second letter addressed to poverty.
When I was asked to go on my first Compassion blog trip in 2011 I couldn’t say yes fast enough. My heart fell out with the exclamation. I couldn’t have known the life I held would fall out from me too.
Meeting you, poverty, changed everything.
You were quite happy when you saw small, wide-eyed me step onto your dirt. Into your home. You slapped me across the face with all your depravity and I couldn’t even react from the shock of it.
I dipped the bucket of my heart into the soul-well of every child you held onto and brought it up filled with sorrow. Shame. Shock. All those feelings that make good and sure I am disabled from any kind of service. I felt so useless and you puffed big and loud, “I am too big. I am too complicated. What can you do?”
I wasn’t even brave enough to answer back.
But I took another step. I walked myself right down into a winding, underground community where “homes” were no bigger than my bedroom. And electrical wires were exposed everywhere. And somehow the living images of God were breathing their life down in this hell. People driven underground because the society kept running them out of their pretty and quaint cities.
But all the way down, in the very back of this intricate system we ducked into a home and met a family of 5.
The oldest girl had gone through the Compassion program and is now attending university.
And that’s when I knew. You are a liar.
I left the Philippines still feeling small and I could almost hear you exhale as my plane took off, “Good visit. Don’t come back. There’s nothing for you here and nothing you can do.”
But I went again. And again. And again. I’ve seen you in many countries, in many communities. You are everywhere. My “yeses” to go became more reserved because ignorance was slipping from me faster than answers were coming.
But how can I turn away from the hurt of the world when I bear the Light of the world?
And don’t I know you in my own life? You were banging in & around me too. I was deprived, needy, hopeless. I saw darkness ahead of me. Behind me. I often felt like I had fallen short. Like I just couldn’t get it right. But these Light people left their comfortable and came to me. They showed me the Savior of the world and I entered His love.
The richness of His love has no room for you.
You told me there was nothing for me in your broken places. But I struck gold when I entered you:
Bright heart, image-bearers of God gold.
I probably sound different to you. Confident. Brave. Sure. I sound different to me too. But then again, speaking with the authority of Christ leaves no room for doubt or feebleness.
Here’s what I know. That I was created to help save many lives for His glory. And you have got to go. My sole purpose, my soul-purpose, is going to clash right into you. And I already know who wins the war.
So, I thought I should tell you. I’m coming again. In less than two weeks I’ll be living bright in all your ugly. I’m not the same small, ignorant girl you first met. I am not just brining my words, or my presence or my prayers. I bring the power and the hope of Glory. And you sound more like a whisper against His great proclamation of love.
I’m not coming alone. I’ll be with three amazing women and their sons.
Ruth Simons, Shannan Martin, Ashley Ann. Followers of Christ who are committed to Kingdom work. Who know the value of a child. Who believe that God’s love is for everyone and everyone needs to hear of God’s love. With people who will kneel down and hug a child, and tell them they have worth. They were created for a purpose. & His love knows no bounds.
I guess I’ll leave you with this: God, my King, died and rose my Savior and there is nothing I will not do for Him. I am working with Him to save many lives. And yes, I used to think my life was so precious that I needed to stay in my comfortable, my ignorance, my tidy. I used to gamble my calling on prestige, popularity, possessions. But not anymore.
Not on His watch.
See you in a few.
*Friends it is with great joy and an immense sense of burden and responsibility that I share with you my next Compassion Blogger Trip to Ecuador. I will have the honor to serve our Savior with Ashley Campbell, Ruth Simons, Shannan Martin and their sons. Please follow our trip from Jan. 31-Feb. 5. Please pray for us. Please help us save many lives.
*Images in this post taken by the extraordinary Keely Scott.