Sunday, January 28, 2007

Is Your Glass Half Full?

Did anyone watch 20/20 Friday night? It was about childhood poverty in America. And particularly in the town of Camden, NJ.

Now, I'm no where close to New Jersey. I'm in southern TN, just on the northern tip of GA. So it's not like this was in my backyard.

I know that we all know in our logical minds that there are poor in our country. But something about this particular program touched me in a way that I can't seem to get out of my heart and mind.

I've watched programs before about the poor. And I've always felt God trying to tell me something when I've seen them. I'm still not sure what God has been whispering to me, but I do know that my interest in those less fortunate has grown over the years.

There was a little boy on the program. They showed him hungry. Hungry! Can we really imagine? Can we imagine what his mother felt? Her *child* was hungry, and she had nothing...nothing... to feed him. And he was in clothing that was entirely too big for him (and grateful for the clothing!). He was homeless and they showed the family preacher taking them to different houses that the church was trying to help them get into. And the excitement overwhelmed this little guys face as he looked around these places that would, most likely, scare the pants off of any of us. The places were pretty awful. Dirty. And the child's face shown with hope at each one. And each one was denied him for various reasons.

He ended up in a single room with nothing but a bare bulb, and he was all smiles from ear to ear.

How many of us, given so incredibly much more, smile when we look at our homes and lives? How many of us literally beam when we look at our blessing every day? How many of us go to bed having eaten just a little too much to snuggle down in our fresh sheet and down comforters? How many of us have the luxury of not wearing a coat in our house in the winter because we have lovely heat with no more work than a touch of a button? How many of us thank God for our blessings when we turn the shower on and hot water comes out? Or we push a button and our garage opens so that we can park our *cars* in more of shelter than a lot of God's *children* have at night?

I turned the TV off and felt true shame for every *want* I've ever had. And then I looked around me and noticed my abundance. Really noticed it.

And my heart has been so full ever since.

My glass is more than half full. My cup truly does runneth over.

Sharon wrote a beautiful post on contentment. I urge you to read her post and see if God speaks to you as He has to me.


Sharon said...

I didn't see the program, but I've seen similar news and it still amazes me that there are people in this land of plenty that are homeless and hungry.
It does pull at my heartstrings.

Anonymous said...

Aww...I have to go to sleep VERY EARLY to deal with my son, who arises around 4 each day. Very powerful post Michelle!! So true. So true. Thanks for this. Eileen @

Mrs.G said...

I did not see this but I would like to see if they re-air it any time soon. My dad grew up in that type of environment. His mother was a single parent with 9 children. He told us stories of sleeping and having rats jumping over him. He took us to the inner city to see relatives that lived in filth. This made me appreciate my parents and the commitment that they had to their family.

Michelle said...

Sharon, I totally agree. I heard a statement one time that said that our *garbage disposals* eat better in the USA than the *children* eat in many countries. I just don't understand how people can turn their backs on hungry children. I just don't. Period.

Eileen, bless your heart! 4am! But we actually taped the show and I didn't see it until Saturday. The girls and I sat down and watched it again yesterday. I was just as moved this time. Amazing. I want to find out about these kids. And know that they're ok right now.

Mrs.G, wow. It sounds so much like the environment that was displayed on the show. They showed roaches crawling all over one kitchen and the dad trying to kill them while making breakfast. Two of the three children outlined were from single parent homes, one living with a mom, the other living with a dad. The third child lived with both parents but the dad was a pretty bad alcoholic. Your dad is an inspiration.