But what if I see my privileges as gifts instead of rights? Everything I have is a gift. This is the place where joy is kept alive.
This week, we are going to move house. We went around Mwanza looking at houses; this wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, looking for the house of my dreams, but there was a little part of me that would have loved to be doing exactly that. Find a house with a big shiny bathroom with a bathtub and running water that always runs, a big family kitchen with cupboards that leave things uninhabited by little creatures, a big fridge with more than one shelf, an oven that would fit my baking trays and cook a cake normally, a guesthouse that would comfortably house lots of guests ... you get the idea. I was looking at what I lacked.
There was a story told about a man who found a treasure in a field. That treasure was so valuable that he gave up everything he had in order to buy that field. But it is hard to give things up. Possessions, desires, rights. Is what we would gain worth what we would give up and leave behind? And so we hang on, hold back. Would I really hold back for the sake of a "dream" kitchen, when I could own a great treasure and indeed the whole field? No! Would I hold back for the sake of myself, ... for my family? The questions get harder. But the gain is always greater.
When we see everything as a gift and not a right, when we lay things down rather than clinging on and holding back, then this is the place where joy is kept alive.
Last night, our good friends Zakayo and Evelyn lost what we would view as their "rights." Their house, their home, was broken into by thieves in the night as they slept. The thieves abused their rights to personal property and privacy as they invaded each room, including where the two young girls lay sleeping, and they stole from them. But while the family lost possessions, they were unharmed, and this is a stark and somber reminder that we have so much to be grateful for, a reminder that things are truly just "things."
Our new house, with all it's quirks and foibles, is a good gift. And soon it will be a home. And as such a place to keep joy alive.
|Our new Home|
There is another house waiting to become a home. I am so excited about the future of this home. The house at the moment is an empty shell, a bare and messy space, a work unfinished. And there are lives at the moment the same. Empty, messy, unfinished. There is no true life for them, no joy alive. But I have been talking with Evelyn (the unfinished house belongs to her and Zakayo) and her dream to reach out to help the many vulnerable women in this city. We are making plans to see this empty house transformed into a home, a place of LIFE, a place where joy is kept alive. Women in poverty, women abused, fighting against HIV/AIDS, in prostitution, women who not only need a safe place to shelter and a livelihood, but need to be given the gift of Life.
|A House: a Home in the Making|