Perspective Is Everything

Here lately my life needs some new perspective.  Over the last while I’ve been so caught up in my own troubles I never really stop and think about anything outside of my own little world.  As you know I read ‘Crazy Love’ by Francis Chan and it really effected me greatly.  I don’t want to be a person who is so bogged down with self and only thinks “me, me, me” all the time.  I tend to do that, especially since I am a stay-at-home mom.  I don’t leave the house much, and that means I don’t always see just how blessed I really am.

For reasons I won’t disclose, I visited a women and children’s shelter today.  The shelter is across the road from the mall here in Jackson Tennessee, which is not too bad of an area.  From looking at the website I really expected a warm, welcoming place, but when I pulled up I was quite stunned by the buildings appearance from the outside.  Inside the walls were stark and sterile and the place looked a little run down.  The feeling I got from just being in the building for five minutes was a feeling of despair.  My heart broke for these women and children who are only there because they have nowhere else to go.  I realized as I was driving away, that I was far removed from my comfort zone.  I felt foolish almost, standing inside that building in my nice clothes and shoes knowing these women have nothing.

What do I even have to complain about?  Sometimes I think life is too hard and the problems I face are too much.  Seeing this shelter was a good reminder that I have more in life than I will ever deserve to have, and it also makes me want to find some way to do more for people who are really really hurting in life.  Living this way, blind to the world and it’s problems isn’t good enough.  Knowing that these people are out there, yet keeping my blinders on is outrageous.  These people aren’t in Africa, or some third world country, these people are our neighbors and we walk right past them.

In America, sometimes it is hard to really see the people that are in need.  They look just like you and me.  We don’t like to see that side of America and we, as a country, push the poor aside and try to hide them, only to be reminded of them at busy street corners or interstate on-ramps, but they are out there and they need someone to love them.

The biggest irony, and it even makes me cry, is the fact that this shelter sits across the road from the shopping mall.  Knowing that housewives just like me are across the street at Macy’s buying more needless designer shoes and purses while women just like them  are right across the street wondering what is going to happen to them in life is just tragic!  I’m not trying to say that spending your hard earned money on a purse is wrong.  What I am saying is that I personally am getting to a place where consumerism and stuff is meaning less and less to me.  I guess you could say I am starting to see that we can obtain all the stuff we want in this life and it won’t amount to anything, but what really matters is how we love our neighbor and help them with our resources when we see them hurting and in need.

My “Kairos” moment came on the drive home.  A feeling came over me of how overly blessed I have been, and questions of how come that isn’t my life?  Aren’t we all in some way just one step, or breath away from a life like that?  Any one of those women could be me.  My life is completely messed up and so far from perfect, yet I see that it could be far much worse.  I want to be more thankful everyday for what I have been given, and find some way to bless others with what God has blessed me with.

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3 thoughts on “Perspective Is Everything

  1. Jennifer! What a great perspective! I love your honesty. I appreciate anyone who is willing to look at others misfortune and reflect on their own life and realize how blessed they really are. We are so blessed! There are people all over this world who need to know the love of Jesus BUT like Jennifer said there are people down the street or next door who need to see his love too. And we may be the only person they see him in. Let’s challenge ourselves to get beyond ourselves and show someone Jesus today!

  2. I think unless our motive to help others is based purely on love then we miss the point entirely. Our love for others has to be self-less and if we are only helping or loving them because we want something out of it, then we have missed it altogether. I think that’s all anyone in life really desires, is to be truly loved and unconditionally. “Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I really need it.”-Swedish Proverb

  3. What a wonderful post Jennifer! Is was just what I needed to hear today. Its so hard sometimes not to get consumed by are own troubles. I forget to stop and remember how blessed I am!

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