Thursday, July 24, 2014

Do We Have Impaired Vision?

Recently, we had a Christian brother from a far away land, visit our church. The visit was surrounded in some quietness and secrecy as the country he is from does not look favorably on Christians and his life and the lives of his family could be in danger. This brother has visited us a few times before..... about every year or two, I guess. The last time he was here, he showed some slides and one comment he made a couple of times caught my attention.... He said, "Here is an old woman, doing her work." Well, that "old" woman wasn't very old! Another time he said, "Here is another old woman... she's about 45".  He was speaking very respectfully, but I felt offended for the women, as 45 is not OLD.... until I realized that in their culture, 45 years old IS old and their lives do not last as long as ours, and I felt sad.

This year, he was so excited about the new school building God has provided and the building is helping so much. I looked at this "wonderful new school building" and I saw a rather small building that looked somewhat like a plain cement block building that was painted white. It was nice, BUT I wouldn't have called it wonderful. I was humbled by the realization that for what they live with, it IS wonderful.... it is such a blessing to them.

Then he told of the wonderful and beautiful benches inside the school. When he showed the pictures, I saw nice benches with no backs to them. The benches were painted red... and they were very functional.... but "wonderful" and "beautiful"?  My heart began to ache as I realized anew just how much we take for granted.

That man rejoiced over simple sewing machines that have been provided for some of the women to use.... electricity is very unreliable there and the sewing machines have to be very simple to work there. The women were using them to sew school clothes for the children in the school.... and they are so thankful. He said that someday, they hope to be able to have a sewing machine that will make buttonholes. I thought of my own sewing machine that sews buttonholes nicely... and I use it... sometimes..... but life is so busy.

He was REALLY rejoicing over some sand water purifiers that had been bought with money given for that purpose in the last year. They have to get water from a little ditch.... and he showed the difference between the cloudy water they had been using and the clear water with the filter. What a difference.These are very basic things that we take for granted.

His excitement was for the people in his ministry.... for the needs being met so the name of the Lord Jesus Christ could be glorified and spread. Something else they hope to get are solar projectors to help the people in the villages to learn.... the projectors are $1500.00 each.... that is a lot of money, and yet, they have no electricity in the villages and solar powered projectors would work there.  Money is tight for us, but we have so much.... compared to those in that country and other countries.

It is so easy to have vision problems and to feel they are normal... because it is what we always see. We see opulence and excess. We see food wasted... or food eaten to stave off boredom, not because of hunger. We see a zest for trying to be "happy". What if our main goal in life was to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and to bring others to Christ? What if we said no to ourselves more often and used more of the provisions God gives to us.... to help others?  I'm not saying we shouldn't enjoy our lives wherever God has put us.... I really think we should.... but maybe we need to clear up our vision problems so that we can see the needs of brothers and sisters in Christ also.

Thank you for visiting today... I hope you have a wonderful day. :)

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  1. Thank your for a very thought=provoking post. Yes we get used to looking at things based on our "normal" which is far beyond what so many know. Thanks for the reminder. Joining you today from the Weekend Brew.

    1. It is so easy to do.... thank you for visiting and commenting. :)

  2. I love Amy Grant's song, Through My Father's Eyes. It's always my prayer to look at life through grace-colored glasses, to choose love, joy, and enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing this at Counting My Blessings!

    1. That song does have a good challenge in it.... Thank you for stopping by... and for the link up. :)

  3. This is such an eye opener.
    We tend to take for granted what we do have.
    I know I do. Even the use of a computer.

    1. I am so sorry to be late in responding to your comment. We do tend to take so much for granted, and yet we are extremely blessed. Thank you for visiting.

  4. And then I understood the accompanying photos... We really do take a lot for granted, don't we? Thank you for opening my eyes, today! Blessings.

    1. I'm sorry to be so late in responding to this...yes, we do take a lot for granted... and hearing someone rejoicing over so little can put things into perspective. Thank you for visiting.

  5. May our eyes value what we have and when available to sacrifice may we be the first to give. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” At:

    1. I'm sorry to be so late in replying to this. Yes, we sure do need to value what we have and be thankful to the One who supplied it... we also need to be willing to share with others more.

  6. I believe we sometimes take for granted many things. I love to see how children become excited over just basic things such as seeing a bird or even catching a fish. This is just pure joy for some of them.

    1. I am sorry to be late in responding to your comment. I think you are right... and I agree that the joy of little ones over little things is so precious. :) I hope to help my kids keep that joy for their whole lives. Thank you for visiting.

  7. Thanks for this reminder of how important perspective is. I'm challenged to be more thankful, giving & prayerful. I'm visiting from the blog link up. Blessings!

    1. I am sorry to be late in responding to your comment. I have been challenged to be more thankful, giving and prayerful also... thank you for visiting.

  8. Excellent message! We live in a country with so many blessings that we take for granted. One trip to the other side of the world could have you celebrate Thanksgiving every day. Thank you for sharing this! I pray that they are blessed with those solar projectors too!

    1. I am sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. It is so easy to take for granted that we NEED this and we NEED that, when in reality, what we NEED is so much less than we think. Thank you for visiting.

  9. Thanks for linking up today! Great message! I was actually just talking about this with my boys since they don't have much concept of the world beyond our immediate lives. I want them to understand how blessed we are, compared to the rest of the world and even parts of our own country, and how we have a responsibility to use it wisely. They are starting to see more since we foster and I had to take them into one of the government offices recently to do some business. It is ironic that they thought that we are poor since they share rooms. I'm praying that we would learn to see things as God does! Thank you so much for your thought-provoking post and it has encouraged me to try to teach this better to our boys and to re-adjust my own thinking on it too. We become far to easily entitled if we listen to our culture too much.
    -S.L. Payne,

    1. I am sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. You are so wise to be teaching your children such lessons... if we don't deliberately teach such things, our children will absorb the entitlement message from the world around us. We are so blessed and it is good to recognize that and thank God daily. Thank you for visiting.

  10. Wonderful post and fantastic reminder of how much we take for granted and what we think we "need". I've been thinking about this lately and am so glad you shared this with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party!

    1. I am sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. It is something worthy of much thought... it is so easy to become too focused on "us" and not enough on others. Thank you for visiting.

  11. Hey Joy,

    I came over on #TuesdayTalk, and I'm glad to find your site. I also followed you on Pinterest and pinned your photo today to this link:

    What an interesting post about perspective and vision today. I love your pictures, and I can envision that missionary sharing from his perspective. I guess he called me a senior citizen at the ripe old age of 51~

    Enjoying connecting with you.
    Hope you have a blessed day today~

    1. It was a very sobering talk... and I am so thankful God allowed us to be exposed to that in our land of plenty. I have also followed you on Pinterest...and will be visiting your link. Thank you for visiting.

  12. Fabulous post! Thanks for sharing!