There once was a little girl who had not a care in the world. Her bed was warm. Her belly was full. Her bike had tires. Her family took fantastic vacations. She went to school. She had water out of not only a kitchen faucet, but a bathroom faucet, too, plus a toilet. Unfortunately…she lived in a bubble called suburbia. And in the grand scheme of the world, suburbia is miniscule.
Suburbia. The place where you have to drive a car, most likely getting one at age 16 when you are able to drive legally. It is also the place where you eat out at restaurants…a lot of them. In general, we have everything we need plus everything we don’t. Oh, and where coffee is a necessity instead of a luxury.
There is a big, bold, thick bubble that shields most Americans from what I honestly think is reality. When foreigners look in…we appear to live on a movie set, because our lives are so far away from any form of life that they know.
There are two sides of this coin. One, our worldview needs to bust open. Two, we need to stop imposing the way we live on other cultures, and expecting them to fall into line because we are ‘saving’ them from their shacks and poverty.
Don’t get me wrong. I know poverty exists. I’ve seen it, and it is blatantly wrong…please see post on injustice.
But sometimes our perverted American worldview gets stuck thinking that anything below us is poverty. And that theory is dreadfully wrong. It is not reasonable to assume that our way of building homes will work in all climates and environments that are unlike anything in America.
And yes, a thousand times yes, everyone in this world should have clean drinking water, and good sanitation. But that doesn’t mean it has to be inside every home. The communities that get water together have beautiful relationships with each other that put any friendship you have to the test.
Many would argue with me…but I don’t think you’ve truly lived until you’ve walked in raw sewage, held an orphan craving touch, eaten something unidentifiable, lived for a week somewhere that has no relief for heat, walked with a stranger through a rough time or looked a homeless person in the eye and called them by name.
I also don’t think you’ve truly lived until you study the places in the Bible that tell you to go. Live sent. Be more. Love radically. Love a complete stranger without understanding why.
See the world as God sees the world, because I guarantee you…he looks at the suburban bubble and sighs. He knows there are people mobilizing others within that bubble, but he also knows what lies beyond that bubble for us. He knows the life we can grab onto by allowing him to bust open our worldview. The simple fact is most people don’t want to live that far outside their comfort zone.
Denver. China. Appalachia. Russia. Liberia. Guatemala. Haiti.
God has used each one of those places to widen my view on the world. He’s actually busted it open so many times I’ve lost track. The hard part was allowing it. And now…the ironic part is I am more comfortable in any of those places than I am living the Suburban bubble. But the beautiful part is that when he makes the world smaller for you…you see him so much more.
‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ [Neale Donald Walsch]