I started writing this last night but was unable to finish it. The house was still 77 degrees and a little sticky, so I pulled the floor fan out of the car house, cleaned it off and put it in the bedroom. Tater Tot got a vacation from his room and plastered himself to my side for most of the night. So much for staying cool, right?
The air conditioner still isn’t working right, but it’ll get straightened out.
In reality, none of it has been bad. Uncomfortable? A little bit, especially if the dryer and dishwasher are going, but I can’t say that it’s been unbearable.
I’m embarrassed that I whined yesterday. I’m pretty sure that you know I was complaining in a light-hearted way, because let’s face it, it’s only April. It’s not like we’re suffering under the smothering August heat. If this happens again in August, the complaining will be sincere.
Nonetheless, today I am a bit ashamed.
You know, I’m fairly new to the whole blogging scene. I started off by reading Sophie’s blog about this time last year. We went to school together at Mississippi State, and I didn’t even know she had a blog until a friend of mine and I were talking one day and it came up in conversation. It went something like this:
KRISTI: Look, you really ought to read Sophie’s blog because it is a SCREAM! She will crack you up, and nothing helps you like a good laugh. (This was right after my father’s death and I was feeling kind of low.)
ME: Sophie has a blog?
KRISTI: Yes, Sophie has a blog. Stop living under a rock, my friend. She is to blogging what Oprah is to talk shows. Get thee to your computer and start reading. Make haste.
And so I made haste. I read EVERY SINGLE POST, starting from the very beginning. Some of them made me laugh until I cried. Some of them made me laugh so hard that I did that wheezing cry. And some of them made me laugh so hard that I made that “haah-haah-haanh” noise. You know, the noise that comes out when you can’t catch your breath?
Some of them made me think. And cry. And laugh. Some of them made me do all three, all at the same time. Most of those were the ones she wrote during her trip to Africa with Compassion International. I had no idea Sophie had been to Africa. I had no idea what Compassion International was. Remember, I had been living under a rock and barely knew what a blog was.
Since then I’ve become a little more familiar with blogging. I read oodles of blogs every day, although I’ve slacked off on my commenting because, believe it or not, my inner cleaning lady has kicked in. Shocking, I know.
Right now, I’m reading the posts being written by the bloggers who are currently in India with Compassion, and I find myself thinking about them, the children and families they’re meeting, and the words they’ve written over and over and over.
Melissa’s post in particular struck me like a bolt of lightning when I read it yesterday. I must have read it three or four or nine times, and as I did, I kept thinking about the stained-glass window behind the choir loft in my hometown’s Methodist church.
There is a Bible verse in the window that can be read from the street. Of course, when you’re sitting in the pew, the words are backwards. I remember sitting there as a child, and (ahem) maybe even in my teenage years, trying to figure out what those words were. I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to go and look at the window from the other side after church, other than the fact that I’m a bear of little brain, but I don’t recall ever doing so.
Anyway, the verse is from Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the Lord.”
It’s not one of the verses most often quoted, is it? Had I not stared at it every Sunday for the better part of 18 years, and many, many Sundays thereafter, I can’t honestly say that I would know it.
He who hath pity upon the poor…
Having pity doesn’t mean feeling sorry for someone, like I thought when I was younger. It means having compassion for them. It means reaching out to them, helping them, praying for them, doing for them what they cannot do for themselves. Not what they won’t do; what they aren’t able to do.
…lendeth unto the Lord.
If you lend something, there is an understanding that it will be repaid in some way.
My word. I’ve been given so much already.
- Right now, I’m lounging on my king-sized bed, waiting for someone else to fix our air conditioner.
- Tater Tot, our perfectly healthy son, is at Mother’s Day Out. He is playing on playground equipment that is safe, on a surface that is cushiony. He will nap on a carpeted floor, on his nap mat, in an air-conditioned room (lucky boy).
- My husband has a good job with health and dental benefits.
- My mother is healthy and lives an hour away. She never hangs up the phone or lets me leave her house without telling me that she loves me and how much I mean to her. She loves Tater Tot and he loves her like nobody’s business.
- I was blessed with a father who loved his family beyond measure.
- I have a brother who is healthy and who has a job and whom I love very much.
- Both of my parents graduated from college, and they made sure that my brother and I did, too.
- We grew up in a home full of laughter.
- When I walk to the sink and fill a glass with water, I know that it is safe to drink.
- There is more than enough food to eat at every meal.
I could go on and on.
What in the world is there to be repaid? What could I possibly expect from our most generous God in return for simply having compassion for the poor?
Maybe it’s opportunity after opportunity to be humbled by Him; to love Him; to surrender to Him; to trust Him; to believe Him; to be encouraged by Him.