We really aren’t that different

April 8, 2008

I took this photo when I was in Cambodia at the end of last year. It was late afternoon on the first day of clinics. We had finished seeing our last patients and had some time to unwind so the boys took the volleyball and started an impromptu game with some of the Cambodian youth. I took my camera and headed to the playground.

I noticed this little girl because she looked on the outside how I felt on the inside that day – small, vulnerable, lonely, troubled and sad. She was sitting on top of the slide. She was silent and a stark contrast to the flurry of exuberant activity all around. I smiled at her. She just stared back. I pointed at my camera and took off the lens cap. She didn’t flinch so I took a photo.

A conversation today awoke the bleeding heart in me and I thought about poverty and prostitution, domestic violence, drugs and disease, inequality and injustice and felt rather indignant at the state of the world. I wondered what God’s intention was when he put me in Singapore in the middle of affluence and privilege and her in Cambodia living next to landfill when we really aren’t that different. There are definitely days when I feel like this little girl (and not in a good way). That said, I also remembered that whenever this “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD” frustration builds up inside me, God usually has a reason for it. So until I figure out what that is, I pray that I remain a bleeding heart. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Good luck to me.

“17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19

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