Thursday, July 03, 2008


I read a lot of articles online.  Friends have loaned me a tv, but in all honesty I haven't plugged it in in fear of it sucking the life out of me.  But, everyday I read a montage of stories, new articles and personal opinions about life in the rest of the world.

And I read books with friends.

And I am ruined.

I have to admit I have a really good life.  I have a comfy apartment, with more square feet in my bedroom than most people in the 3rd world have for their entire home.  I have running water.  I have air conditioning, a dishwasher, you know the have it too.  And  I am ruined because I don't know how to rectify my cush life, with the disease, malnutrition and global crises going on in the rest of the world.

And although I know full well that I am exactly where God wants me to be, I still at night, find myself feeling incredibly guilty when I crawl into my bed with freshly laundered sheets, extra pillows, and the knowledge that even my most difficult challenges tomorrow don't even compare to the challenges of Mary, Mama Jackson, or Tedi.

And then I feel guilty.  

And then I get out of bed and write blog posts, that really don't make me feel better, but for some reason, this confession might help me sleep better tonight.  

My "American way" is uncomfortable when I consider the ways of the rest of the world.

How do you feel?  What keeps you awake at night?  Are there kids in Haiti whose faces have ruined you and caused you to think differently about "the American way?"  Or maybe its the face of a mom struggling to feed her child in Afganistan.  Or the wounds of a man in Iraq who also wants freedom.  Maybe it is the war plaguing Sudan.  Or maybe, it is the homeless man on the corner of Highway 55 and Corvallis in Durham.  

And I must go on, and ask, at what point do we take action?  At what point do we listen to that place in our hearts that feels ruined and accept that my ability to live "the American dream" directly impacts the lives of others, and that because I have the opportunities I have, I can give opportunities to another.  

1 comment:

Diane Davis said...

Hi Pam... I'm a friend of Jen Tompkins. This blog post sounds like something I would (and have) written many many times.

I've often said that hope and despair are two sides of the same coin. I can completely relate to the despair moment you are in... powerlessness completely stinks. I also know you have the hope moments when beauty touches you and knowing that your authenticy and honest living does make a difference.

Is is enough? I guess it depends on the measurements... it's not enough to stop abuse or world hunger or genocide. And I share with you that frustration. But it is enough to make the lives of some better, to experience your own full-ness and to see a glimpse of God? From reading your blog, I know you experience the Yes in that too.

Thanks for being a thoughtful person. This is important stuff! :)