Thursday, October 14, 2010

The best things in life are free . . .

Well. It's turned out to be a beautiful afternoon after a thunderstorm this morning. And Ella is positively precious. Today I learned that if you swoop your face in close to her suddenly while saying shhhhh, she cracks up. Love that! I also have a fantastic video of her playing with Birdie.

But there is something else I want to share. I read this post by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience, and if you are a person who loves Jesus, I think you should go read it too. Especially if you are an American who lives in a house in the suburbs and goes to Walmart from time to time. Ann has recently returned from visiting the child she sponsors in Guatemala. The last lines of the post just slayed me. The conviction has just been piling upon itself for me lately regarding materialism and the suburban attitude in general. This week in my Bible study we read about John the Baptist in Luke chapter 3. After John goes after people for having no evidence of their faith in their lives, and they ask him what they should do, you know what he says?

1. If you have 2 shirts, give one to the poor.
2. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.
3. (to tax collectors) Collect no more than the government requires.
4. Don't extort money or make false accusations.
5. Be content with your pay.

That's it. All his directions are about money! He doesn't say a word about not swearing or alcohol consumption. Not that there aren't other sins that keep us from a productive life, but I think this one is bigger than we suburban Christians have allowed ourselves to believe.

Also we watched this documentary about global poverty the other night and it was terrible. I ask, along with those who went out in the desert to get ready for Jesus with John the Baptist, and with Ann Voskamp who is fighting the slide back into normal life after a trip to the third world, what should I do?!

The truth is that the best things in life are making your baby giggle, being totally in love with your husband, having great adventures with your friends, enjoying long thoughtful conversations with your parents, happening to briefly meet a friendly stranger, singing with all your heart at church, etc. My life would miss none of this if I lost all my extra stuff. In fact, I would probably get more of it since I wouldn't feel guilty about not doing the laundry or mopping the floor if I spent time hanging out. It's just hard to know the practical steps to take to change your life. The only thing I know to start with is prayer.

And, if you have stuck with me through all that, I'll just ask for your thoughts and prayers and leave you with a sweet video of Ella and Birdie, which is what you came here for in the first place!

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