Yesterday I ran errands, stopping at the grocery and Target to pick up a prescription and purchase some ingredients for a special birthday snack for Sweet Caroline’s party on Sunday.
If you think that is all I walked out of the stores with, you would be sadly mistaken.
I also picked up a patriotic romper set for little Miss Thing…in two sizes just to make sure.
Plus I got some Dove dark chocolate, several options for the snack, colorful plastic spoons for the guests to use, a new color of nail polish, some sunscreen and a little something for John’s birthday bag.
And even as I did this pretty normal running of errands, I had another image of our time in Cuba superimposed on my life.
Because daily life for our new friends…just like for the Maasai…and the people we met years ago outside Monterey, Mexico…is so very different from the paths I walk every day.
And often in my every day, their shadows are cast across the places my well cared for feet take me.
With all that we vocally rant about that is wrong with this country we call home, we really have no idea how much freedom we have grown accustomed to.
Freedom that fosters a sense of entitlement.
Because you can pretty much believe if I couldn’t have found the miniature Swedish fish and blue raspberry jello I need to make my creations, I would have been extremely vexed.
And I may as well confess, I was kind of bummed they didn’t have the large size boxes of jello and I had to buy four small.
Because I am spoiled.
I am privileged and I am rarely even aware of it.
I take for granted that if I can’t find what I want in a store, I can order it online and have it here in a matter of days.
Without getting all political and showing my ignorance, I am going to make an observation of what I saw on our trip.
I saw that under the governing bodies of Cuba, no one goes without food…but choices are limited and sometimes unavailable or off limits.
For instance, we were told that all cattle is government owned and the meat cannot be purchased or taken by citizens except when made available and served in the restaurants.
Which are also government owned.
And so I had a tactful conversation with one of our translators one day about acquiring food and such and he gave me an example of eggs.
He said his three sons love eggs, but sometimes it is weeks before his wife is able to find a place that has them for sale.
Yes, they have other things to eat.
But imagine going to the store day after day to purchase something as basic as eggs and being told there are none.
As God would have it to drive the point home for me, the morning we were scheduled for an early bus pickup to head to the beach…the kitchen at our bed and breakfast was running a little behind on getting the food out.
She asked if we had time for them to scramble our eggs…which we had eaten every morning…and it was decided we would skip the eggs.
Because we can eat eggs anytime, right?
My internal flesh nature may have died a slow and agonizing death as I thought of how much we have and of a family of boys who would have been in poultry heaven if they could have partaken of what we took a pass on that day.
And of course, us eating those eggs wouldn’t have helped them at all.
It is this helpless watching that pierces the heart.
With privilege comes responsibility.
To use the spheres of influence and resources we have been given to be the hands and feet of Christ.
It is our burden to remain unaffected by our plenty and to echo Paul…I have learned to be content … with much or little…whether hungry or well-fed.
It is only with Christ that we can know true contentment.
It is only with Christ we can remain unspoiled by the excess we have available to us.
In plenty, in want.
Under whatever government system …
in persecution or in freedom…
under the thumb of a government or the stranglehold of a culture…
That He alone is our all in all.