Tuesday, June 24, 2008

show the difference.

as i driving down a side street this afternoon, something on the left caught my eye.
it was a piece of graffiti.
pale blue wall…red letters.

what was written was this:

“they love Africa but not Africans”

when i read this, something inside of my heart broke. this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. i don’t know the individuals who wrote this or which persons behaved in such a way that would make them think this but all i know is that it was difficult to read.

it breaks my heart that someone was treated in such a way that they felt unloved. it upsets me that someone [most likely a Westerner] treated this person with such little worth. it disturbs me that there are many people who come and go in this place that treat those around them without the respect they deserve.

and in addition…isn’t this completely backwards from the way it should be?
aren’t we [especially as believers] to love people and not locations?

aren’t people the ones with souls that extend into eternity…aren’t they the ones Christ died for? and aren’t locations the places that God is able to wipe out with a single thought…aren’t they places that will be destroyed without hesitation one day?

though it know it’s near impossible to do, all i want to do is find this person and tell them that however they were treated was wrong…it was a lie. i want them to know their worth. i wish i could show them that there is another way to go about life…one that doesn’t include feeling worthless, feeling disrespected and feeling unloved.

by no means are any of us the perfect example of how to treat a person [we are all human…] but somehow we can’t let our flaws get in the way of the pursuit of others. to pursue them and to somehow, whether through words or actions, show them that they are worth everything. that they are our worth our love, they are worth our time and by all means, let them know that Jesus found them worthy enough to die for.

as i continue to spend time with these ladies, i find that my heart is becoming more and more involved and attached. as i continue to see their struggles, i continue to be transformed.

i think the thing that is drastically different about needs here than in comparison to most needs in the States is that here, they are actually needs. in the States, i believe that we confused the terms need and want.

you don’t need a new bike, you want one.
you don’t need to go out to dinner, you want to.
you don’t need to upgrade your phone, you want to.
you don’t need a new shirt every week, you want one.

so as we go about our day and we are faced with decisions, big or small, i hope and pray that we can call [myself included] chose to make the right decision, not the easy or comfortable decision. may we learn more what it means to deny ourselves and indulge in Him. may we have the eyes to distinguish between need and want.

may we never forget that even our small choices may make the world of a difference to someone on the other side of the world…


“All around you people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip or dance, just don’t tiptoe.”


i pray that this week we would all learn a little bit more of what it means to be free from the slavery of our wants and to be truly alive.

lets take some risks.
lets be courageous.
lets remind ourselves that our hearts are still beating.

8 comments:

Scott and Erin said...

well said, Julie. I am so glad that you are truly living in Uganda. love you!

auntie katie said...

yes.

:)

Rachel and Arielle said...

hey jules!
great post...you were truly meant to be there, doing what you're doing.
give betty and kymbi huge hugs from me! i sooo miss them and africa!
love, rachel

amanda said...

Wow, Julie. the last bit of this post reminds me of a song, I think it's switchfoot, where he says, "i wanna wake up kicking and screaming, i wanna know that my heart's still beating....it's beating, it's beating, i'm bleeding." i second that wish, that we'd all just stop this week to free ourselves from wants and to just feel alive and blessed regardless.
that is some crazy graffiti... definitely a heartbreaker. but you know, that is why there are people like you called to live in uganda. to live and LOVE. so that maybe one of these women runs into whoever made that graffiti and tells them, NO. They love Africans MORE.
hope you are well, julie. lots of love.

Ralene said...

Well, if your words aren't a deluge of inspiration when a tank is running dry. Thank you! It's great to hear how God is both using you and changing you while you are over there.

Jared, Jen and Andon said...

Oh my, great post! I just came across your blog somehow and so thankful for these words today!
~Jen

Amber said...

Oh Julie...I got a little choked up when I read that wall inscription. You know, I have heard those words a million times. People come there, make promises, never keep them...and leave other feels abandoned. It's terrible. What is it about our Western World that makes us forget the TRUE reality, the 98% of the world that we DO NOT live in currently. (speaking of myself...and my return to the US.) I came home so fired up...I was so good at keeping promises and then something just happens...after a year or so I just started feel so detached from my "home" so I had to "settle in" here and it just seems like the two cannot coincide...what do you think? I know now, I either think globally and feel so helpless and homesick, or I just try to focus on making it through to days here...silencing my global calling. Its a battle I have constantly...I know you know what I mean...I just don't want life to carry on that way any more. It just hurts so much to miss it so deeply...maybe I should have emailed this to you haha...

If you need anything...don't forget my email address Jinja1226@aol.com

Amber

rachel rianne said...

amen.

i know that nearly everyone would admit that it's such a struggle to truly love the people instead of the place... because places don't let you down or demand as much of you as ppl and relationships do.
it's definitely a challenge to get past ourselves in that.

i went to church this morning and there was a singing group there from rwanda.
they were with africa new life ministries and bringing awareness to orphans in rwanda, uganda, sudan, the whole of africa and the entire world. it was so good, but after hearing story after story of the plights and struggles, it's easy to find their importance fade. i feel like that might be one of the reasons why americans tend to "love africa" instead of "loving africans" because we have infomercial after infomercial after memoir after documentary about what's going on in the world and the power and significance is diluted. and the thing that sucks is that it's not a bad thing that ppl bring awareness and tell their stories... it's not that at all... it just gets twisted somehow. ughh. the ongoing dilemma.

i hope you're well though.