Monday, March 10, 2008

here vs. there

So yesterday we had our first appointment at Childrens. And as I sat listening to the squeeks and knocks of the MRI, I conjured up this list of here vs. Liberia:

here:
there's so much red tape, it's difficult to get appropriate medical care.
Liberia:
while there is no red tape, there's no machines/consistent electricity to give appropriate health care.

here:
everyone spends/wastes money like there's an endless supply
Liberia:
everyone spends/wastes money like there's an endless supply

here:
parents give children and over abundance of stuff and not enough responsibility
Liberia:
parents give children an over abundance of work and so so plenty responsibility

here:
education is free and unappreciated
Liberia:
education is costly and savored

here:
time is a valuable commodity that is used and pushed to its limits
Liberia:
time is an oddity of little importance

here:
hearts seem almost hardened to the things that matter
Liberia:
hearts seem almost hardened to the things that matter

here:
we make issues out of non-issues (paid attention to politics lately??)
Liberia:
the issues they face are over-experienced, thus ignored by the general population


And then I wonder... I wonder why we consider one better than the other... I mean, is it more like the lesser of two evils when we choose where to live? I tried to explain so many times to any Liberian who would listen that America aint that grand. Yes there are jobs here, yes we have lots of cars here... and yet... and yet it doesn't equate to a life closer to Christ. It doesn't equate to the things that truly count in this life. I mean, if God is real and we believe that with all of our hearts... if He's the whole point of our existence... then do these things count for anything?

3 comments:

Ashley said...

Agreed. Everytime someone told me they wanted to go to America, I assured them they wouldn't like it. I tried to explain how what they think is so great about here really isn't....and that people in Liberia have a real understanding of what's important (Christ,life...).

Um no, it's not sinking it yet! I seriously can't believe I'll be there in less than 2 week...for 3+ months?! It won't hit til I'm sitting on a plane by my lonesome flying somewhere over Chad...or when that door opens on the runway in Liberia and the heat and smell hit me!

Bill said...

I'm a pastor who has been to Liberia twice. I speak by phone to a pastor there each week. We support a refuge home there (hope.victoriousfaith.com) and I can tell you, life in America is way better.

In my opinion, the high quality of life here is no more a detriment to a closer walk with Christ than the abject poverty there. It's not where you are, it's who you are...what's in your heart.

To say people of Liberia have a real understanding of what's important (because of their condition) is an oversimplification. The people you know there may have an understanding of what's important. However, I would guess your sample is very small, because the majority of people in Liberia do not.

If poverty and hardship made one more spiritual than Liberia would be leading the world in peace, righteousness, justice and mercy. Clearly, they are not. There are deeply committed Christians who demonstrate amazing faith in Liberia (thank God), but it is certianly not a majority. And it's certianly not because of their circumstances. (I guess we could say the same thing about America.)

I enjoy your blog and read it when I get the chance. Of course, I'm interested in all things Liberia.

Raquel said...

Bill,
Maybe you misunderstood me?

I was thinking along the lines of your quote, "It's not where you are, it's who you are...what's in your heart."

My point was more along the lines that if we *truly* beleive in Christ, then all else (other than glorifying Him) doesn't matter. Not cars, education, work, health care, housing, etc. What I experienced there was an expectation of wealth if you're a US citizen; as if that would make life easier... My thought is that life is no easier here nor there if Christ is not our center piece (please note that I'm speaking spiritually, here. Obviously a US life style is a more physically comfortable one. And yet sin is sin is sin whatever continent we live on.))

I'm pretty sure that we agree ;)