Tuesday, September 30, 2008

7 Days of Nothing

Is this not the fast that I have chosen,
to loosen the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the bands of the yoke,
and to let the oppressed go free,
and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into the house;
when you see the naked to cover him;
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Isaiah 58:7

...happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
Proverbs 14:21

Our hot water heater is broken. I griped and complained doing dishes using cold water today. A year ago I griped about doing the dishes in the sink, but I since I haven't had a working dishwasher for over a year now I really have learned to adjust to doing dishes in the sink, actually enjoying the warm, sudsy, therapeutic water .... the way my moma and grandmother did the dishes for years.
But now I griped, "using cold water just doesn't seem to get grimy, greasy dishes as clean as hot water."
I wanted to take a hot bath. I couldn't. It made me downright ill.
Then I remembered the daily cool showers in Trinidad this past summer (they were much briefer than those taken at home).
I recalled when Taylor got sick while we were in Trinidad and it looked as if we may have to take him to the hospital there. A hospital with no running water.
Today I got some pictures from my brother in Africa via email.
I have decided not to complain today.
We as a nation are really out of touch, or at least I am.
Here are some shocking facts ... please take the time to read them.

Today, across the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day; 3 billion live on under two dollars a day; 1.3 billion have no access to clean water; 3 billion have no access to sanitation; 2 billion have no access to electricity.1

30,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from poverty-related issues? That's 210,000 a week or over 10 million a year, if you're counting.2

Americans spend $110 billion a year on fast food, 3

39 billion dollars a year on their pets. 4

We are carrying over 2 trillion dollars in credit card and auto debt.5

OK, facts are great but what am I supposed to do about 'the least of these'? I am praying and considering. Perhaps for one week, I will buy nothing – nothing – but the necessities. Money saved during the week will go to someone less fortunate. I haven’t determined all of my needs and wants, but some sacrifices are already clear: no magazines, no clothes, no diet coke, no dining out, no processed foods. I believe I'll learn a lot about myself during those 7 days ... my materialistic nature and my wastefulness. I doubt that by doing this I will lessen suffering throughout the world, but that is not the goal here. The goal is to change my heart. I'm not sure when I will begin this, but it will happen. What about you? Are you up for 7 Days of Nothing?

1 Globalissues.org "Poverty and Hunger Facts" 2 UNICEF State of the World's Children 2005 3 Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser4 CNN.com 5 CNNmoney.com

1 comment:

Krista said...

Funny you mention your hot water heater. Mine broke last week. Water began to flood the house. Luckily we were at home and shut the water off immediately. I wanted to be angry and ask, "Why does this happen to me?", but I decided to look at it as a blessing. What if I hadn't been home? What if my whole house had flooded? I only had to go one day without hot water, but it made me realize how much I take the water flowing from the tap for granted. Small disaster - big lesson.