Brian and I arrived home safely yesterday afternoon; Jerry and Adrian caught an earlier flight out of Boston. The Leveretts are due in today. I've slept a lot, trying to be rested for work this week, and have shared many stories with my husband and son. Our little rental seems so luxurious; our simple Sunday lunch so rich and elaborate.
In Zimbabwe these days, one can hardly find bread or milk or sugar or salt or cokes or matches or fuel. Grocery shelves are largely empty. The electricity is off perhaps more than it's on. If you're lucky enough to have a borehole, then you only need to boil your water. If, as in Harare, you're forced to use untreated city water, then you must freeze, boil, and freeze the water again in hopes of killing all the microbes that pollute it. That's if the water's running at all. And you're fortunate if you don't live in the neighborhoods where raw sewage floods the streets.
I spoke with a young Zimbabwean man who dreams of coming to America where he can live a comfortable life. I admitted to him that he would likely be able to do so, but warned him of the spiritual poverty that plagues our culture. At least in Zimbabwe, people are drawing near to God, for He is their only hope. Here, we hope in many lesser things.
So, as much as I'm delighted to be home--where I can love on my family and use a real toilet that I fully expect will flush and open a refrigerator filled with anything I want and ride in a car that doesn't rattle my teeth--I'm returning with a sharpened focus on what's most important: Jesus, and the hope he gives. Jesus, and the relationship he offers. Jesus, and the love and compassion he models. Jesus, and the tranformation he works in us.
For without him, we're all in poverty.