In a local Walmart yesterday, two worlds crashed head-on at an unmarked intersection. The wreck went largely unnoticed, although it caused a great deal of inconvenience. There were no fatalities.

Or, maybe, there were.

You see, I was minding my own business that day. Doing the things we do here in America, the things I take for granted. I was annoyed to have to go to Walmart in the first place and I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, so I wasn’t focused on what I was doing and my mind was wandering.

Which is probably why I didn’t see it coming: That Other World, the one I know about but don’t live in, the one that breaks my heart but too often isn’t on my mind. It came barreling down from the other direction when I wasn’t watching, and the whole weight of it hit me full-force right there in the Seasonal Goods aisle, where I was tossing a bottle of off-brand sunscreen into my cart.

The wreck was totally avoidable. That Other World and my own coexist every day, parallel universes 22 hours and a hundred light years apart. They go on, both of them, as they always have–side by side, never intersecting. I’ve become quite adept at preventing them from crashing into each other. It’s a simple matter of keeping things neatly compartmentalized, and they normally don’t come in contact at all.

So imagine my surprise when, in my own comfortable world, a moment of simple distraction allowed a ten-car-pileup to occur in my soul. It was a silly thing, really. A floor to ceiling stack of orange 5-gallon water jugs, innocently waiting to be purchased and taken on camping trips. But out of nowhere, That Other World showed up and I was wrecked.

Wrecked because each of those containers will hold 5 gallons of clean water, while 783 million people worldwide lack access to clean water and 1 out of every 5 deaths in children under the age of five is due to unclean water.

Wrecked because women in That Other World spend so much time carrying gallons of unclean water to their homes that they don’t have time to get an education or go to work.

Wrecked because those cheerful orange containers will go on camping trips where we get away to “rough it” in conditions far better than those over half the world lives in on a daily basis.

Wrecked because the contents of my wire shopping cart, which seemed so necessary at the time, cost more than it would to provide food, shelter, and education for an orphan for a month.

Wrecked because I know the needs, I work with a non-profit dedicated to equipping That Other World to rise out of poverty, and yet I so often get tied up in the things that seem important in my little corner of the world and forget how privileged I am. In today’s world there is no excuse. How easy, how very easy, it is to make a difference.

Sometimes I feel like my soul is schizophrenic, living in two worlds. The rift between the two is imaginary; we are one family in Christ and one church across the nations. And yet I feel tossed back and forth, a stranger in both lands. I give my dog a can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti on her birthday and post the picture on Instagram, and then I weep because my dog eats better than most children in Africa.

I am wrecked.

But maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. Maybe wrecked is where Jesus meets us, brushes the scales out of our eyes and gives us new vision {click to Tweet}. Maybe wrecked is where I need to learn to live, trusting that the Jesus who said the poor will be among us always and also said that he is the poor among us always, will teach me how to make peace with both worlds.

Yesterday, two worlds crashed head-on and complacency was the fatality.

Lord, help me carry both worlds with me always and help me learn to live as a bridge in the gap between.


9 thoughts on “Wrecked

  • July 12, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Thought provoking words that remind us of the need to stay aware of others, even as we go about taking care of our own little worlds. Innovative graphic, too!

  • July 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Beautifully put my dear friend!

  • July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Great post! I take a lot of things for granted. Thank you for the reminder!
    Visiting from #TuneInThursday

    • July 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you for visiting! I loved your post on Debbie’s blog. Very nice to meet you!

  • July 16, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Great imagery. And more importantly, great point. May the Lord continue to remind us that what we think is ours is really His, and He expects us to share it with those in need.
    Thanks for this reminder to be more careful what I spend money on and to be ready to help the needy as He directs us to. May we be His hands and feet to serve those in need that He brings to our attention.

  • July 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    May we be His hands and feet…yes, amen and amen. Thank you for stopping by, it’s nice to meet you! <3


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