Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Great Divide: Living Between Two Worlds

I live in two different worlds.
Between the rich and the poor.
Between those who have and those who don't.

This summer, my church is sending six highschoolers to Peru as a Mission Trip. It is in combination with other Alliance Churches. Yesterday, they had a training and I asked if I could join them. Most of them are between 15-17 and it is a great opportunity to infuse the idea of mission...(or missional lifestyle) in them. I also wanted to pray with them.

As I hang out with the 'poor', I was asked to share how do I deal with stepping out of my comfort zone.

I shared the fact that when half of the world make less than 2 dollars a day. When I make 20 times more than they do, there is clear distinction that I am in the rich side of town.

I shared my story of spending 6 dollars for hot dog with a homeless person as 'good'. Then go shop for a 200 dollars jacket when the Holy Spirit prompted me that the person who I just shared a hot dog with probably need a jacket more than me.

I wrapped it up by focusing on Jesus. He gave me everything. He forgave me. Shared His Glory with me. How can I do anything less than to share with those who are in need.


Between these two worlds, it is often how those who have don't see what they have and don't see those who do not have. I struggle with this.

I don't get it when we can have potluck night with all type of food. Yet we never follow the need to go serve those who struggle in getting food for their kids.
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

I don't understand when we are wrap up with our own world that we do not see our neighbors cannot even get another pair of shoes.
"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores."

I don't get it when we will spend hundred of dollars for someone's b-day. Yet when it comes to buying food for the needy, we nickel and dime by getting discounted or no name foods.
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

I use to be very upset over this. And every now and then, I get upset too. Mostly because I don't understand. I realize that God is showing me this as a great reminder and convicts me ever more to follow Him. And if I am the only one that He calls... I follow.

And the choices between these two worlds are great. Great because the two worlds will always come together.

Tonight, I had pho with R. Since he turned 70, he injured his ankle and couldn't row anymore. Because he is unemployed, it is hard for him to pay bills. As we sit down with a bowl of Vietnamese delicacy, he shared his struggles.

His car needed a set of summer tires. It just so happened I have a set available. I told him I would check the tire dimensions and if it fit his car, I would give them to him.

He also shared his stress with paying bills, his income tax person ripping him off and getting unhealthy food from the food banks.

When the two worlds don't resonate

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend studying to become a dentist. He mentioned that there is an epidemic in Canada. A lot of kids under 5 are getting cavities.
"I don't get how come parents let kids eat so much sweet. If I was a parent, I would never allow that to happen."

I replied and explained to him that in the lower income family, junk food is often the best alternative because it is cheap (compared to vegetables). He couldn't perceive such notion.

Tonight, R mentioned that all he get from the food banks are unhealthy food. High fat, lots of salt, and lots of sweets. They give out a lot of cakes, donuts and cookies.

R said, "I can't help it. It is there and that's all they have. I have to take it."


This year, there is a number of Wedding invitations which I only going for the ceremony and not the reception. For a reception, I would pay an average of 100 dollars.

Is it justifiable to instead spend 100 dollars on celebrating two friends on their joyous day....when I have friends who have to make a decision between putting gas in their car or having food on the table?? (Some don't even have the privilege to make such a decision b/c they neither have a car nor a table)...

Perhaps this is a pride issue where I don't want to be seen as someone who pay less than most people and perceive as cheap. I justify it by just going to the ceremony.

Of course, this ain't an easy matter...I mean, what about my other expenditure and my entertainment. What about those?

So I slip in and out between these two worlds.
I ebb and slip through them.
Flow in and out of them.

I have two lives.
A life where I grow up.
A life which I was called and invited to join.

And the Sovereign Father works lavishly between these two worlds.

As a friend said...

There are two worlds.
There is one dimension.
God's dimension.

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