Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rolled Up and Squeezed Out

I ran out of toothpaste about a week ago.  I also kept forgetting to buy another tube.  But, I did not stop brushing.  Instead, I rolled and squeezed that tube, finding out with amazement, that what I was going to throw away still had a lot of that blue stuff inside.  By the time I remembered and purchased the brand new tube of paste, the old one had been rolled and squeezed until there was nothing coming out.  However, before tossing it, I wondered how much paste might be found inside if I cut open the tube and peeled it back to reveal the insides.
Before anyone decides retirement has finally gotten to me, let me continue.  Here is the thing.  If that tube had food inside, I would have thrown it away before the final week of rolling and squeezing. I would have thrown away food.   But, if I was truly hungry, not sure of what is going to be eaten at the next meal, I never would have thrown it away before cutting it open and peeling it back so I could scrape all the food residue off the inside of the container.  Surely, there is a lot of difference in the way those of us in the "throw it away" culture live and those who constantly live in the "scrape the inside clean" culture.  It is hard for me to imagine the world of the hungry, but the ugly, used, squeezed, and rolled up tube of toothpaste spoke to me about the desperation of some people.

No matter how we cut it, to be able to use the internet puts us in the world of the affluent.  There is no way to say we do not have enough when we stand alongside the world's hungry.  And, there is no getting away from the Word from God which says, "How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?"  (I John 3:17)  For those of us who say we belong to Jesus, the question is never, "Do I have enough to give?" but "Why am I keeping so much for myself?"

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