Sunday, August 10, 2008

you better thank God for that.

“it doesn’t cost a thing to smile.
you don’t have to pay to laugh.
you better thank God for that.
there’s hope.”
-india.arie

what a precious gift it is that the things the matter the most in life are free. family is free. friendships are free. smiling doesn’t cost a thing. laughing isn’t something that requires money.

i see in the lives of the suubi women a hope that’s alive. it’s the kind of hope that forces a person to rise above present circumstances and choose something better. all of these lessons that i’m learning from these women are renovating my heart. i’m learning about what strength can look like and unlike what we’re used to in the United States, i see very clearly any amount of money you have, whatever your social status may be or whatever “look” you may have does not dictate your strength.

there is a suubi woman named margrit and one of her daughters, agnes, had a baby in late july and named it Julie after me. the ladies insisted that i visited my ‘namesake’ and so on Friday morning john and i went to her home to see margrit and her family. as we sat on the floor of her home and talked with her and others, dennis, one of margrit’s sons scurried into the room. after some more conversation, we learn that margrit has 9 children and 4 of them are mentally handicapped. dennis is her youngest handicapped child and words can’t accurately describe how the love for her son seemed to flow out of margrit. as she sat on the floor with her hands clasped tightly around her son in hopes of limiting his energetic outbursts, i just looked at her with such respect and love and awe.

this woman is an incredible picture of what strength has the ability to look like. she has 9 children, 4 of them handicapped. suubi is her only work. her husband lost his job and now digs in the garden. her radiant smile is proof that she has chosen hope. her caring hands show that she understands love. her joyful attitude is evidence that she isn’t going to settle for sadness. i see her rising above a “ho hum” life and choosing hope. hope that infiltrates all areas of life.

i have a quote from shane Claiborne on the mirror in my bathroom that talks about how these gifts that we have and experience are too good to keep to ourselves. i know these blogs that i write are only words on a page but it’s my prayer that somehow they’d give you a glimpse of life here. that you would perhaps see a little bit more clearly that life isn’t all about you and me. it’s about those around us. it’s about giving your heart away. it’s about taking risks to serve others.

i have faith that if we allow the things that really matter in life to invade our lives, we will be different people. i’m definitely not an expert at living out these things but i think it’s worth pursuing…i’m working on it. i hope you’ll join me. i just don’t think God was joking around when he said life wasn’t about us.

2 comments:

melissa sue said...

I love that song by India.Arie! Her cd is actually in my car cd player right now.

I look forward to meeting the women...THREE WEEKS.

also, please keep purple door in you prayers! It's next weekend!

love you!

Jacob said...

hey,

I'm coming over to LGH in DEC., one thing i was curious about, can you put me in contact with a clinic there? I'm looking to have churches here in VA send necessary supplies throughout my time there and hopefully afterword. but i'm not sure what is needed. any ideas?