I tried to hire a house cleaner today. We are coming up to a very busy time…actually, we are pretty much there. I’d like to think that I am pretty self-aware and, during these times, I try to give myself daily pep-talks.
“You can do this.”
“Don’t pick a fight with your husband because you feel that him not remembering to take out the garbage is the manifestation of a crack in a greater, completely critical and foundational piece of his character.”
“Don’t make any rash decisions.”
“Let it go.”
“This will be over in a three weeks – you just have to get through three weeks.”
This year, I took it a step further and considered, “What can I do to alleviate some of my own personal stress?”
“I know,” I thought. “I will hire a house cleaner.” Just this once, I thought I would pay the money to have someone clean my house. I would relinquish control and trust someone else to do it. Well, boy was I delusional. I got some recommendations and contacted them. I found out that there is no way I can afford a cleaner, which is odd because I know so many people that have house cleaners that come regularly. I couldn’t even begin to fathom what it is like to have so much money. That being said, it’s not the first time I have thought about this. In fact, I have sinned many times considering what it would be like to be wealthy and wishing I was so. Then I catch myself and blame them – the rich people. They caused me to sin. How dare they! How dare they sit in church with their designer clothes, luxury vehicles and multi-million dollar homes whilst the person next to them can barely afford to put food on the table?!
Rewind to yesterday evening.
I was putting Audrey to bed. She isn’t too great at going to sleep on her own and even less so when I am around, which is pretty much all the time and because I “don’t do” crying babies, I was rubbing her back. I will stand hunched over her crib for however long it takes until I hear her breathing change and I can gently lift my hand off of her body without her stirring. Last night, it took a particularly long time and my mind drifted to Aleppo. A picture came to mind of a small child, about Audrey’s age, face covered in dust, standing amongst the rubble. I wondered how anyone could still be left in that city and what would keep them there. Why do they stay? Is it too dangerous to go? My heart broke for the children who live there, for all the people that live there and I prayed. I prayed for them, I prayed for peace and I offered gratitude for that moment – for the safety and warmth of our home. I gave thanks that I could stand above my baby girl, tuck into her soft bed with her family around her and the sound of silence.
How dare I? I have so much. The Bible says that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Sometimes, I think, “well, it’s a good thing I’m not rich,” but then I think, “maybe I am the rich man?”
That being said, I also recognize that I’m not in Aleppo. I’m in Canada – the land of the free. A country where we have “free” health care, education and where, generally speaking we do not need to worry about bombs, airstrikes or militia parading through our streets. But it does not mean that there are not needs. Poverty exist even in Canada. Inequity exists even in Canada.
I’m not in Aleppo. I can’t save those children. I can’t stop ISIS but I can look around me and ask myself, “Where can I help?” In North America, we have been groomed for entitlement. We have been led to believe that if we work hard enough, or sometimes even if we don’t, we deserve more. We deserve a big home with shiny floors, nice clothes, hot vacations – these are the signs of success. Why should I not be able to hire someone to clean my house?
The world owes us nothing. God owes us nothing and when we are so consumed with what we don’t have, we fail to see what we do have. If we focus on the things we want, we loose sight of the needs around us. Look up. Someone needs you.