3 min read
Today, two things happened that deeply impressed me. They left me convicted with the thought that I need less comfort and more courage in my life.
What do I leave behind?
First, I read an internal report at work from one of our social workers. In it she described how a homeless person who stayed at one of our shelters died. The story deeply moved me – I actually sat at my desk crying while reading it.
All the man left behind were a small pocket knife and a crucifix necklace. There were no other objects or belongings that his relatives or friends could claim to remember him by. That fact alone shocked me. If I died today, there would be so many things – half of which I probably don’t even know is there. And yet I spend so much time worrying about money, about stuff, about security and comfort. It shames and humbles me to think what that man was worried about that last night he went to sleep compared to my feeble concerns.
Obviously, problems don’t cease to exist by the fact that there are people who have it worse than us. But I do wonder how real or legitimate some of my fears about material things are.
I also was left with another thought – what am I doing to help? Could I share and give more of what I have to support others? How often do I pray for people in need? How much of my time do I invest to make this world a better, more just place?
Courage over comfort
The second thing that happened was this evening. I went swimming and when I left the gym where the pool is located I saw a bunch of cars pulling up outside the fire brigade building which is right next to the gym. Men were jumping out of their cars and running into the building. I saw them hastily throw over their fire fighter outfits and jump into the fire engines.
The fire brigade in our village is a service manned by volunteers. These guys I saw were probably just sitting down on their sofas or eating dinner at home. Most of them will have been to work all day. Instead of choosing their own comfort they chose to be ready to be called off at any moment, to use their abilities to work and help. They choose courage over comfort.
Again, I stood there thinking “What am I doing with my life?” I feel so convicted about how fixated I am on myself. As a mother of a toddler “living for the weekend” isn’t really a thing, but I think that sometimes I am “living for nap/bedtime” when I can sit down and knit or read and finally have my precious “me-time”. Putting my own oxygen mask on first is all well and good, but when am I going to help the people around me with theirs?
Abundance is here(?)
Perhaps I am being hard on myself – I have a small kid, I work, I don’t sleep. There is not really an over-supply of energy or time or money that I could give to others. But maybe there is some? If I continually focus on my lack of resources, there will always be a lack. Maybe instead I should try and focus more on what I do have to give. Even if it is small or seemingly insignificant.
I don’t really have an answer. These are just some very raw, fresh thoughts that I wanted to get out of my head and onto a page. Maybe some of you have thought about similar things? If you have any wisdom to share, I would love to hear it.