Something from Sunday has been weighing on me and I think I have finally got it straight in my head and straight with God. Bear with me.
Church this past Sunday was a little different than usual. A group from our congregation had just returned from a mission trip to Africa and instead of a sermon, they shared their experiences.
I was touched by the video of the children and the pictures they'd taken of the slums- the slum in their photographs is home to 300,000 people. Yet as they went on about their trip, about the flip flops and toothbrushes they had brought and how grateful the children were, about the well the organization had dug and about the soccer field, I started having thoughts about the futility of it all.
I started thinking about how governments that are full of corruption, without equality (not of outcome but of opportunity) and without rights to one's own land and labor will doom these poor people to their station indefinitely.
I started thinking, what's the point? You can pass out t-shirts and soccer balls forever and nothing will change. I started thinking about the errands I had to run after church and started planning my grocery list.
I was wrong.
My reaction was wrong and it has been bothering me for several days. I think all the recent talk of social justice, higher taxes, more regulation, global governance, and the feeling like my pocket is being picked every time I turn around, put a black smudge on my heart. I feel less generous simply because more and more is being forcibly taken from me and that is changing me into someone I don't want to be.
It took men and women with an understanding of God's grace and His salvation to form the United States; not how it is now, but how our Founders intended for it to be. They understood that God gave them their rights and no man or government has the right to take that away.
This isn't about flip flops and toothbrushes. It is about sharing the Gospel and planting that seed of freedom in the minds of those children in the slum that one day, some of them might grasp their freedom here on earth and in heaven.
So to God, my pastor, the missionaries, all those children, men and women in the slums, I am sorry.
I was wrong.