“But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to You…”
Jonah 2:9a NIV
“Finish your soup! There are starving children in China who would love to have it.” Sitting at my grandparent’s table with my sister and two cousins, we glared at the bowls of tomato soup in front of us. Glancing at one another, agreeing by the rolling of four sets of eyes, we were more than willing to ship our foul soup off to China.
I appreciate the values my depression-era grandparents instilled in us (and what I wouldn’t give to sit at a table with them again). But unfortunately, picturing poor Chinese kids did not help me want my soup.
Yet this was a pivotal moment in my life’s journey that led me to muse over my good fortune, wrestle with feelings of guilt, and write out questions in my pink Barbie diary (it even had a lock and key).
Why did God allow me to live in the USA?
Why wasn’t I one of the starving children in China?
Why was I born… ME?
As a child, I didn’t exude gratefulness. Sure, I had my moments, but I was a typical upper-middle-class American kid. My every need was provided for, and I was loved dearly, yet entitled. I never saw or met a truly poor child until well into adolescence.
During my adult life, I’ve had opportunities to see and meet poor children: American kids in the foster and school systems and kids in Mexico living in dumps and begging on the streets. I have met homeless orphans and been with children of Mexican prisoners living in boxes next to the prison. Precious kids needing a bowl of tomato soup and oh so much more.
Because of these experiences and by God’s grace, I have grown into a grateful woman (most of the time).Continue Reading