Two years ago, we were in the thick of intentional spending. I was cutting back on spending so we could give more. One of the things I gave up buying was books, but I couldn’t resist a deal where a book I had been wanting went on sale for $.99. My Mama didn’t raise no fool who would pass that up!
The book I bought was Love, Skip, Jump by Shelene Bryan. It is a great book that grabs you and changes the way you see the world and privilege. Shelene is very open about her struggles and the process she went through to change and give more freely. I read this book two years ago, and a story still goes through my head now, especially lately.
Shelene was in Peru and visiting the poorest members of a church congregation. Her group was getting to know families as they passed out packs of food. They ended the day at a house with 4 generations of women living in it. The hostess allowed them into the shack and introduced them to her mother, daughter, and newborn granddaughter. As Shelene is feeling sorry for the group, the woman asks Shelene if she can pray for her. When Shelene asked why, the woman responded, “Because you have way more things to distract you from our God than I do.”
Wow. Just wow. This nugget of wisdom has been on my heart for two years. Almost all of the things we own and much of what we do are superfluous. We do our best to justify “needing” them when really we just want them. There is always something new out there and we focus on wanting it and not concentrate on how much God has already blessed us with. He gives us all we need and much more, but it can seem like it is still not enough when we let it consume us.
This woman was so wise in her words. Her life was simple and she relied on God to supply her needs. Do we rely on God to supply all of our needs? I am not talking about picking and choosing when to rely on Him, but all the time. “Oh, this is something simple. I can do it myself. Thanks anyways, God.” No, we have it all wrong. We owe everything to God as He is the One who brings it all to us. Every bite of food. Every day of work. Every article of clothing. This woman had a dirt floor in a one room house and appreciated it. She focused her energy on God and His goodness. Do we? Or do we take our beautiful and blessed lives for granted?
Did I step on your toes? I hope so, because this should mess us up. Rearranging our priorities is uncomfortable and messy. It won’t always feel good, but it does the most good.
I have an extra copy of Love, Skip, Jump and want to give it away! Leave a comment to be eligible. But be warned: you will not be the same after reading it.
Linking with Holley Gerth.