Poverty, Reality...

When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, I would sometimes lay in my bed in the morning and stare up at this picture on my wall. I had this one and the Pity Kitty companion picture side by side. How pathetic! But I loved those pictures. I think we got them at a yardsale. I would lay there and dream up idea's how this puppy got lost and was now all alone in the dog pound. Sad, lonely, hungry just waiting to be loved. Then one day, I found him and brought him home.

Puppies and Kittens were all I really understood as a 6 year old. I didn't understand about people being sad, lonely, hungry and desparately needing someone to love them.

During our trip to China, in 2006, I took some pictures of some of these people. The thing that struck me the most was the emptiness in there eyes - like the Pity Puppy. You could see desparation.

There was a hopelessness. I wondered, at times, if these people were being forced to beg by those who would profit from there misfortune with the promise of food and shelter. How aweful that this happens. But it does...

This woman sat outside of our hotel and across the street praying to her god with a sack next to her for a beggers handout.

We gave her a little. In fact, we did give to others as well. We were told not to but how do you just turn your head away from such hopelessness.

All in all what we gave them amounted to nothing. But what they gave to me was life changing. I will never forget them. The poverty. The children playing next to a stream off human waste.

These people were poor. But not the poorest. There are others living even more horribly then these. As close to us as Haiti. My heart is desparate to go to Haiti, not only to see my son, but to see the people. To see the country. To understand.

Sometimes I wish that I could change reality by dreaming up a happy ending like I did with my "Pity" pictures. Obviously, I can't. But I can pray. I can ask God what I'm supposed to do. And then I can do it. That's reality. Putting legs on my Faith. Remembering what it says in James, "Faith without deeds is useless...". It's dead! Dreaming won't feed or clothe or give hope.

Lord Jesus I believe You. And as a believer, I'm called to be the hands and feet of Christ.


Mark said...

I agree with you!

When I was in China, my heart broke for the beggars. My guide warned us not to give handouts, but I couldn't help myself. And when I did, then I was swamped by more. Of course I gave to them too. It really wasn't a whole lot by U.S. standards, but it was probably a lot of money to them.

Here's the part that kills me... I recently met and befriended a family from China who are visiting the U.S. for a few months. They really like our Gabriella (who wouldn't?)

But Jason, the dad, told me that had Gabriella not been adopted, she most certainly would have become a beggar. He told me that with her scar on her face because of her cleft lip, and since her palate was unrepaired at the time, she likely would never have been able to speak correctly, so nobody would have wanted her over there for a legitimate job. She likely would have been forced to become one of these beggars, giving a large chunk of her earnings to organized gangs, and maybe even forced to do other awful things I'd rather not think about.

God help these people. It breaks my heart even thinking about it.

in Christ,


Kathy said...

Never been to China, but I had a similar or the same cat and dog pictures. I think they were a grocery store give away or something. Remember when grocery stores used to give away things if you bought enough groceries or when you could get a piece of china each week and have a whole set?

(Or maybe I'm dating myself, kind of like the gas station cup and glass sets you could get....)