I should never feel guilty about floating around my flowers here at my lovely home. Yet last night at the Bible study I attend on Thursday, it struck me again how unfair life can be, and I'm glad for the beatitudes, promising good first to those who suffer here.
Many of the women struggle with poverty, addiction, racial, family issues which are foreign to me. When the sweet woman next to me, squirming baby in arms, tried to tell me about her DFS visit in order to find housing for herself with a drug record and an abusive man in her life, I could only listen and offer to pray. Sounds quite mild, although prayer is a rope.
The women just reminded me, though, of what is often distant to me: the trials of rising above circumstances, thick and heavy ones, the suffering. When I choose to draw near to it, and not just go to a more comfortable study in my affluent white church, I am made aware. It's difficult to be aware because pain isn't enjoyable to look at. It reminds me of the comment that Mary Sheehan, the anti-war mother who lost a son said recently that Americans are more interested in who wins American Idol than who is dying over in Iraq.
It's easier to look away and become distracted and indifferent. I came home last night with her baby's smell all over me, after taking turns with him. She's got an uphill to still press against. I pray for her and the other women there and ask for help in not avoiding how I can help. To not look away. To not become buried in my bounty.
The precious name of Jesus gives hope to us all. Amen.