It’s NOT fair

Someone explained to me the concept of stewardship vs. ownership this way: When you own something, and you let someone borrow it, you tend to be pretty clear that sure, you can use it, but DON’T FORGET IT’S MINE. (Don’t laugh, you know it’s true.) And God, he’s the same way. Not in a petty way, but in a this-is-a-gift-from-the-King-of-the-Universe kind of way. Don’t forget it’s his. “Ownership” is the false perception that you’re in control; stewardship is recognizing who really is.

2 Corinthians 8:1-9 talks about not just giving to God out of the extra. Because that’s what we tend to do, isn’t it? But if we really set our eyes on the end goal here, if we really believe that this world is not our home, then isn’t it true that whatever successes to which we lay claim, whatever secret treasures we tuck away, whatever castles we build are really all just made of sand?

But that’s hard though, right? Because this world, well, we can say we’re strangers in a strange land, that this isn’t our final destination or our true home, but…it’s all we can see. All we feel like we’ve ever known. Maybe that’s why, in the everyday miracles of life, God gives us a glimpse of eternity.

It’s in the bride and groom, smiling into each other’s eyes and seeing only beauty and joy as they are united as one.

It’s in the father telling his son “I love watching you play,” after every game, win or lose.

It’s in the fact that even when all seems lost, the sun is still going to rise tomorrow morning, and it’s never too late to start over.

It’s in the sisters who argue over shower time, but when it comes down to it will always defend each other.

It’s in the phosphatase of your cells, just one of the millions of enzymes, each one without which your cells couldn’t live.

It’s in the best-selling, under-read book that secretes truth that cleaves between heart and soul, bone and marrow, and that gives a foundation of rock in a sinking-sand world.

It’s in the things we overlook, the everyday, mundane miracles, the little hidden messages of God, saying, I’m here.

Because sometimes, it’s so easy to forget. Because I feel sometimes like I’m drowning, under the weight of the expectations, demands, standards, responsibilities, pressures, choices, decisions–the heaviness of it all threatens to crush me and I want to complain that I don’t deserve this but the fact that I have the option to choose these things puts me in a really, really privileged place.

And you know what? Sometimes life isn’t fair. But this world is not our home.

In closing, I wanted to share a poem I wrote last April bemoaning my frustrations when it connected that you know, my frustration and exhaustion and overwhelm and indecision and demands really do suck, but there’s a whole lot of things that really suck a lot more, and probably don’t have half as much volume. And maybe, just maybe, despite how worn and fed up and irritated and exhausted and wanting-to-scream-into-a-pillow-feeling I am, the real question should honestly be, how much more can I give? Because in reality, this world is NOT my home, and all these castles, they’re made of sand, and will be worn away with a single wave unless I find for myself a foundation of stone.

 

It’s not fair
That I try till I cry
and I’m never recognized
It’s not fair
that I’m putting all my time into this
and still expected to live
up to everything else.
It’s not fair
the expectations and standards, requirements and demands
the time I don’t have;
I’m struggling to stand and
It’s not fair
that kids are abused
and women are used
and some are refused
respect
based on the color of their skin
It’s not fair
that the world we’re in’s
so full of sin
that no one can win
It’s not fair
that children in Africa are forced to drink
the same water that killed their mothers
because they have no other option
It’s not fair
that we live in a world of illusion
absorbed in self-delusion
and all are refusing
to listen
to the cries
of the invisible broken.
We’re all human together!
We can stare at the stars
or stand in the dark
or just watch from afar
and ignore the suffering of our brothers
We made it to the moon, but somehow
we still can’t reach each other.
We’ll never find justice, till we stand with one another
and say
and shout
and sing aloud
with one voice:
This.
Is.
Who.
We.
Are.

800 Million

70 percent of the earth’s surface,
but for 800 million, that water is worthless
Nearly a billion people
suffering from this evil–
Lack of sanitation
Desalination
Concentration
or even consideration–
Trapped
by their situation.
We take it for granted
cause we don’t understand that
thousands are dying,
crying
salty tears that they still can’t drink.
Imagine what they’d give to have a working sink.
We live in a world of delusion,
gotta destroy the illusion
that the problem is quantity–
no, it’s simply distribution.
What we need’s
solution.
This is for humanity,
fighting inequality
and needless suffering
I think our hearts could stand a little softening.
This is the real world
with real people
But we hide behind church walls,
afraid to go beyond the shadows of our steeples
But
Right now,
Where you’re born,
determines when you die,
And I, I will not sit by
and watch my sisters try
in vain
to provide, for their families
with water that only makes them sicker
while we drown ourselves in liquor.
Babies who’ve never known the taste of purity
Played in the mud, grown up in poverty
They wail
for more milk
that their mommies don’t have in them to give
They live
in the slums of society
Is there no piety
left?
We. Need. To fix this.
One dollar brings a four dollar return
and in doing brings something all people deserve:
It’s called life,
and for it, I will fight
I will stand
I will speak
until my voice is hoarse and my lungs are weak
until every human being is freed of this need
for a simple glass of water and something to eat.
This is life.
Let’s live for one another
Let’s live it for each other
Until the whole world stands
kneels
weeps
at His beautiful feet
And we’ve found, what it is
that we truly need:
The water
that breathes
that bleeds
that sees.

I wrote this poem a few months ago. The water crisis is an issue close to my heart; you can find my previous post on the topic here. If you want to learn more or make a donation toward helping solve this issue, check out the links below: 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oonrjkqjk00qvm6/Clean%20Water.pdf?dl=0 (this is an extended version of the blog post linked to above)

http://projecthumanity.org/

http://thewaterproject.org/why-water

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/

A woman from Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 
(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”(For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”
Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water again.”

John 4:7-15