Sunshine beckoned us to the local common. The ducks needed a little food, and the kids were after a little mud. Levi was very keen to go puddle jumping, but alas, no puddles. Lots of mud, but sadly lacking in puddles.
I do try very hard not to covet other peoples material possessions, but beautiful property is a weakness. In many ways I feel a deep longing in my heart to have the finance to own a beautiful, large home, like one of these, off a private drive, just on a quiet common.
|Asher perched on a private drive.|
Then I wonder, if we were blessed such that we had the provisions to afford such a luxury, if we would have the heart to be so selfish. In so many ways I desire an even more "comfortable" life than I have now, even though we want for nothing we need. I desire the best educations in exclusive schools for my boys. I long for a massive kitchen with endless cupboard space and a separate pantry. Yet, even now, we could live well with SO much less.
I'm not sure about where that line falls for us. Where the line between living in abundance and blessing falls while we are still able to give generously to those in need. The Word is uncomfortably clear on its instructions about money. 90% of scripture with regard to money is an instruction to give.
1 John 13: 16
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Proverbs 21: 13
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.
Proverbs 28: 27
27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
I could go on and on forever listing what the word says about money. But thats not why I started writing this, so let me try and be focussed. Im just not sure where that line lies for us, but I do know this one thing. I want to give MORE. We are generous people, by nature. We love feeding people, blessing people, hosting people, loving on people with gifts, helping out where ever we can. But I cant honestly say that we GIVE to the POOR.
My humanness demands a life of comfort. A life of excess, one where we stock pile and stash. Where we save so that we have more to spend. A bigger house. Its not all selfish, either. My desire for a large home is God-given - I'm certain of that! I desire to be able to use my home to harbour the broken, love the lonely, heal the sick, nurture the weak. My desire for an excessive sized dining room is so that I can love others and bring them into "family". But I need to separate out, often, the things which are desires to outwork our families calling and those which are born straight out of my humanness.
I really desire to live more simply in order that we might have more to give to the poorest and the neediest. One of my biggest frustrations with having moved to a 1st world country is being further removed from the realities of poverty that where so much geographically closer and more raw in Africa. Where practical giving was so easy to do. Where you knew exactly where your money went. You could see the face of the child who's belly would be filled by your simple gift. You could meet the baby who would sleep warmer with that blanket.
I heard today that Sandra Bullock gifted in excess of $1 000 000 to the cause in Japan this week. She was reported to be heart-broken at the tragedy unfolding, and felt compelled to help. We could all argue that she could have given more, that it makes little difference to her, that its a publicity stunt. Any which way you spin it doesn't change the fact that she has given, generously, into a place where there is severe lack. And I question, if I had more to give, whether I would simply absorb it into living more extravagantly or whether we would be bold enough to live more simply, in order to give.