31 Jul

How a Mop Handle Can Lead to Humbling Life Change

The heat from my burning cheeks was inching down my neck and over my ears. My embarrassment was showing, for sure. So was my frustration and anger. As I bent over to pick up the magazines I could feel the stares of the grocery store patrons and hear the snickers.
Like knocking over a magazine rack (yep, a rack) isn’t embarrassing enough, only minutes before I had taken out a couple of boxes of brownie mix and five or six packages of tp. The mop handle sticking out of my cart was destined for home and making my life easier, but right now it was a giant pain and rapidly becoming a cause of public humiliation.
There I stood. Frustrated. Angry. Embarrassed. 
And a breath before I could move my cart and knock another item down, images flashed across my memory. Suddenly the heart wrenching truth of the famine in East Africa (view the graphic images here) hit me. In the air-conditioned, shiny, cool grocery store with a cart full of groceries I thought I would throw up. As quickly as the red drained from my face every selfish emotion drained from my body.
With tears in my eyes I fumbled through checkout. Hoping to contain my emotions long enough to prevent further embarrassment. Putting my groceries in the back of my silver grocery-getter littered with kiddo toys, blankets, and the sandy remnants of vacation, I lost it.
I sobbed all the way home.

I’ll never understand the grace of God. How it is that this girl who loses her temper…a lot; who turns to food instead of God; who curses the laundry and other daily tasks that await a stay-at-home mom; who can go days without reading the Bible; and who let’s foul words escape my mouth more often then I care to admit can be blessed beyond measure by a God whose ways I cannot fathom, I’ll never know.

As I ponder the mothers whose babies are starving. The women who rock sick children to sleep begging for one more night and rescue in the daylight. Those who look to the clouds and pray that today they’ll open up…that relief will come in drips and drops, in downpours, and soggy new life. I begin the pray, I beg for food, aid, peace, rain, Him. I don’t understand the gap, my abundance and their losses, but I do understand that there is  God in heaven who loves each mama, each baby, each community more than we can wrap our small questioning minds around.
I am not sure I can make a difference in East Africa. I can’t make it rain, I can’t cut through bureaucratic red tape or send aid to so many, but I can use my voice, my space, my life to pray, to speak, to point to the One who loves us all.
Consider joining me:
– pray — for rain, for aid, for God, for the people on the front lines, for peace
– raise your voice, use your space – spread the word — blog, facebook, twitter, in Bible study wherever you can ask others to get involved
– sponsor a child — visit Compassion International today to find out how you can invest in the life of a child in  Africa (all over the world, really) helping to feed their bodies and their souls 
Father, thank you for changing my heart, for helping me to realize that I am so much smaller than my ego believes and MUCH more blessed than I often remember. Help me to find ways to shine your light here in my own community and across the world. Father, kiss the foreheads of your daughters that go to bed lost, scared, or disheartened tonight. I pray that even in the midst of great challenges and great sadness they are able to feel your warmth and peace. Amen.

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