This week I walked headfirst into extreme contrast. On one hand, I found myself recording a live video in the same building as the Blood:Water Mission offices. A while back I was able to speak with Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of the band Jars of Clay, about the company that he helped found in order to have an impact on the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa by providing clean water and sanitation to communities throughout the continent. As described on their website, Blood:Water Mission launched the 1000 Wells Project in 2005 as a nation-wide effort to raise enough money to provide clean water and sanitation to 1000 communities in sub-Saharan Africa based on the equation that $1 provides one African with clean water for an entire year. Can you grasp that?
That is like saying:
1 ITunes song download
1 lottery ticket
1 coke at a restaurant
2 tacos at Jack in the Box
among many other frivolous things. I am sitting here thinking about the fact that my ITunes music buying spree last week could've provided enough clean water to 20 Africans for an entire year. Or enough clean water for one African for 20 years! This is blowing my mind today because just yesterday I heard someone tell me that he used to work for a high end rug making shop and once they sold a special made rug to a homeowner for $150,000. I sat in awe at the contrast of these two figures.
$1 for life
$150,000 for a decoration
Ugh. It makes me sick to my stomach. Not just because someone with tons more money than I have would spend it in this way but because I am seeing how frivolously I spend what I have. Every single soda I buy at a restaurant or magazine I buy in an airport or any other un-needed luxury I buy myself (and yes, these stupid things are luxuries. The definition of luxury is "indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being") I am withholding clean water and sanitation (not luxuries but necessities) from countless people throughout the world.
Blood:Water Mission is only one company among many others who are reaching out to help those others throughout our world. One, whose mission is in alignment with Matthew 25:34-40
34-36"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:
I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37-40"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
Could this be said about us?
It seems such a drastic difference between 1 $4.00 magazine and an $150,000 rug but what I realized in thinking about the two is that there really is no difference. Both amounts of money were/are spent frivilously and both amounts could be providing life to someone else. I am going to do something about this in my life and no, I don't work for Blood:Water Mission but I couldn't ignore the huge contrast that I was confronted with while walking through their offices this last week. I would also challenge you to do the same. Hop onto the Blood:Water Mission website and check out all of the ways you can help. They have many genius ways that you can help so that no one can feel like they are unable to join their community for change. Or if you know of another group in alignment with those verses in Matthew 25 then find yourself involving yourself in their mission. Whatever you do I would love to hear how it is impacting your life as a result. Feel free to leave comments and thoughts below as well as passing this blog along with the Twitter, Facebook, Email buttons below.
Let's feed, give water, shelter, comfort, and visit.
Let's give up our $150,000 rugs.