Thursday, March 1, 2012

gross and icky

my stomach still feels gross and icky. like i made the wrong choice. i'm still not sure. my head tells me i did the right thing. my heart? it's confused.

i hear someone say hello and think it's our maid talking to someone on the phone. then noah comes in and says, someone's here to see you, mom
i turn around from my spot on the couch and see a ugandan woman standing outside our front porch.
how did she get in through our gate? 
nick quickly walks past me and i realize he has let her in.
she has a drop of water on the top of her chest.
i realize that it is a tear.
her eyes are tearing up.
we say the usual greetings although i am impatient and want to know who she is and why she's here.
but that would be rude.
nevertheless, the greetings are short.
i still have no idea who she is. i think she might be the maid that used to work for the people who lived with nick and trevor now live, but i'm not sure. she's already launched into her speech.
her son is sick.
the hospital's soonest appointment could be next year.
she wants my help but then quickly adds that she doesn't want my money. only me to come help her with her son.
i ask her if she has family or friends around. if she regularly attends a church. she does. i ask her if she's talked to her pastor and she says they don't have money to give her. i tell her that her church family should come around her and support her, help her with her son and pray for her. she looks frustrated. i know that despite what she's said, she's looking for money.
i tell her that i have no money, my husband is not at home and that she should talk to her pastor again, and make the appointment at the hospital and see if she can get her son in any sooner.
i tell her i have my own children that i can't just leave by themselves.
she looks dejected and possibly bitter. i can't tell. 
i feel rotten but i know that coming to some white stranger because you think they have money is absolutely not the answer. 
white people throwing money at ugandans has not helped this country before and it's not the answer to the desperation, the corruption, the frustration that the beautiful people meet here on a daily basis. 
i tell her i'm sorry and she walks back up to our gate.
i am frustrated at being accosted in my own home.
i feel sick at her situation and what must seem like a cold-hearted answer coming from a rich, white lady who couldn't possibly understand her situation or show pity toward her.
i feel more confident now that it is the church of uganda that needs to step up and be the family it's supposed to be. to support the members. to help those who are hurting and bear one another's burdens. 
i can't help everyone. i know that Jesus is the answer. to all the hurt and corruption and brokenness and frustration.
but my heart still feels gross and icky.
we live in such a broken world.

1 Cor. 12:24-27
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.


  1. I feel gross and icky too.... I wish there was a simple answer to these situations.... I keep looking for one... I don't know what to do when I see people in Toronto asking for money... I want to be able to help, but what is the right way to help... Sometimes I feel I am over thinking the issue and I end up doing nothing, but going back to feeling gross and icky....

  2. I can tell you that there is a "form" of Starbucks coming soon to you. Wish i could enjoy a cuppa with you.

  3. oops...should have posted this comment on your "I dream" post. :)

  4. Oh yeah this is a tough one but I fully agree with you that the church needs to come around and support it's members. It is unfortunate that they think being white means being rich especially for you when you can't give money. I hate that icky feeling :P

  5. Oh V. What a conflicting thing to have to endure. I hope God brings peace to your heart over this. What does Jamie think about the way it happened? Its a hard thing about having a heart that wants to help and having a chance to do it so tangibly, but knowing that its not really helping at all and so making the wisest decision you can at the time. May God bless you in your commitment to the Ugandan church. Love ya woman. xo

  6. I don't even know how I would have handled that situation! My heart goes out to you...and I totally agree about the church. I hope that woman's son can get the help he needs from her church!

  7. That's the perfect wording of being heartsick and compassionate while having your 'haven' breached. I know you'll have to go deeper with this issue as it's in your face moment by moment...pray for wisdom and joy in confidence of doing right. love you.

  8. that's a really tough situation, but I think you did the right thing.
    especially holding the church to a high standard, because when standards are low thats a dangerous place for a church (and it's people) to be in. whether it's practical theology (helping your sister in need) or actual theology (inerrancy, etc).
    Praying for a peaceful heart for you after a tough thing :)


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