I’m sitting my favorite chair, the one I traded Kirk McCutchan my recliner for, feet up on the matching ottoman. A heating pad is wrapped around my neck and Derek’s cover, that his Aunt Terry made, is keeping me warm. A few minutes ago, I took some Ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant and once I finish my cup of hot tea, I’ll be ready to trade this cozy spot for another…my bed.
When you are sick or hurt, what are the comfort things you reach for? I always want to be in my blue/green flannel jammy pants and the oldest, softest cotton t-shirt I can find. For Christmas, Craig bought me some fluffy striped socks. These are now on my list of must haves.
Although I am in pain…I am otherwise comfortable. If I am hungry or thirsty, Jim brings me what I need. If I get too achy, hot water in the shower is only moments away. If I get worse, I can call my doctor and know he will get me in to see him the same day. And on those rare occasions when the pain gets beyond my control, the Emergency room is less than 10 minutes from my house.
These are things I take for granted. Things that I never have to worry if they will still be there tomorrow. I know I will always have food, water, medical care and a home. Even if something were to happen and I would have to leave my home, I know my family and friends would take care of me.
As I watch the media’s coverage on the earthquake in Haiti, the thing that stays with me is the enormity of the situation. That so many people are without the basic necessities, let alone, comforts that I have everyday.
What would take to level the playing field of the world? To ensure every person had their basic needs met on a daily basis? To have access to clean water, nutritious food, shelter and medical care?
I saw a quote in today’s reading of A Hole in Our Gospel.
“Sometimes, I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering and injustice when He could do something about it.”
“Well, why don’t you ask Him?”
“Because I’m afraid he would ask me the same questions.”
As I sit here in my warm home, with every modern convenience at my fingertips, I ask myself, “What can I do? The need is so great and overwhelming.”
What if it were my family that were suffering? My child, my mother, my brother? Would I not race to help them in any way that I could?
Then I think of the woman at the temple in Jesus day. This widow put two coins in the offering…all she had. I remember the prostitute, who used her tears and perfume to wash Christ’s feet and how she used her long hair to wipe them clean. They didn’t let their financial or social situation stop them from acting.
There are so many needs around us everyday. I don’t have to look far to find them. The questions isn’t what am I willing to do…but do I have the courage to do it? Will I step outside of my warm home and help those who are suffering? Or will I just cross to the other side of the street, pretending not to see or hear?
If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.