We lead privileged lives.
True, some are more privileged than others but the fact that we are communicating right now via technological devices puts us in the privileged category.
There are many perks in my life for which I give thanks and then there are some that make everything right in the world during the moment I am enjoying them. I'm wondering what a few of those things - five to be specific - are for you.
It is easy to get into a whinetune about our lives during a recession. But after I worked as a missionary in Latin America during my 20’s, even my working class status was considered privileged. I owned a car—therefore I must be rich! But it was a beggar woman who really taught me how poor I was. It was her generosity that lifted me to understand what it meant to be a child of God who is blessed in ways that have nothing to do with the world’s standards. Muthah+
1. Last night I bought an Iphone. For me, who has carried an ancient BB for which I could no longer see the keypad, this acquisition is the height of luxury. I haven’t learned really how to use it but I DID text my first message to a friend last night. But it isn’t the phone itself that claims that it is well with my soul. It is more than this item really does ‘make my butt look big.’ (Nothing makes my butt look big—it just IS big—TRUTH!) And even though finances are tight, I have succumbed to keeping up not with the Joneses but with the young people that I am now ministering to in a local campus ministry.
2. Education. Presently I am a part of an international effort within my denomination and I am so profoundly grateful for an education that allows me to understand different cultures, and appreciates the vagaries of values placed upon different understandings of the Gospel. This allows me not to be afraid of differences. In a denomination and a locale in which fear-mongering has been developed into an art form, my education has allowed me to listen a bit more deeply to what is being said by those who are discussing issues “on high C.” This does not mean that I don’t get hooked by some of their comments, but the knowledge and being conversant with a broader world-view allows me to slow the conversation down and listen to the fear that is under outrageous accusations.
3. Love: That old hymn “Love Lifted Me” comes to mind. I could have written Faith or Christ or God or Grace here. But as I really get to it, somehow, somewhere, I was found by love. I didn’t ‘learn’ to love at home, I don’t think. I WAS loved, sort of, but I did not understand that because of the way that love was manifested at home. So, somewhere, somehow love FOUND me. I identified that love in my 20’s with Christ—the incarnated holy first manifested by Jesus. And I have been trying to manifest that love since. I think at one point I would have used the word ‘Truth’ to explain this privilege but now I know it to be something much more relational.
4. Social Media: When I was small, my grandmother lived in a small No. MO town that had a ‘telephone central’. All phone calls were on the same trunk line. My mother remembered the when the first telephones were installed. Now I have an Iphone, a laptop and yet feel woefully out of touch because I have just learned to text. And yet last night I sat and corresponded with friends in Scotland, Canada, Australia, the UK and Uganda. I have no idea of how the technology works. I just know that I can type things in a computer in my lap and the disembodied words from all over the world show up. And often they are words of love and encouragement, of faith and respect. I don’t need a visa; I don’t have to cross any time zones. I find it a privilege to live in an era so that I can do this.
5. A house all on one floor: For the past 8 years I had lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors of an ante-bellum horse barn. Before that I lived in split-level dwellings for 15 years in which stairs were ubiquitous. Interestingly enough the churches I served were mostly on one floor. But since June, J and I are living in a house with NO stairs—not even a step—except in the garage. My knees and my whole body consider this a blessing. God is GOOD, All the time!