Contrary to what I have been telling my husband for the last few months, as of tonight, I no longer want a new swivel sweeper.
I have always been completely devoted to my one and only man until the day I met my swivel sweeper, since then, my devotion has been torn between them! I never knew such a simple man-made machine could make life with kids so completely divine! With a quick press of the button, I can twist, turn and slide my way over cheerios, Legos (snooze you lose, boys!) and Doritos and watch them miraculously disappear and a sparkling clean floor reappear! I love my swivel sweeper!
Alas, all good things come to an end...or in the case of my current sweeper, a broken handle. Although it still functions relatively well, if I bump a wall too hard or twist too quickly, the handle snaps off and send my sweeper a flyin’! Since it still technically “works”, this item has moved from the “Need List” to the “Want List” on our family budget and thus, I’m looking at 2050 for a possible swivel-sweeper replacement time-frame.
Don’t laugh (too hard), but every time that darn handle pops off, I used to grit my teeth and think,
“Arg! The things I must suffer to __________ (fill-in-the-blank: live on a budget, have a large family, do life with one income, and so on)!!”
Yes, in other words: a semi-broken sweeper was my (pathetic, lame, think of any other adjetive here that equates with pitiful!) version of persicution.
It was a picture I saw of someone else’s precious child, a picture something like this...
I’ve seen photos like this before...we all have. But tonight, it grabbed my attention while I was trying to get that handle back on my sweeper with a less-than-stellar-attitude (think: Oscar the Grouch) and I felt like my heart stopped.
No, THAT is persecution. THAT is suffering.
I felt a wave of great sorrow at what my watered-down, Americanized Christianity has become. How small and out of focus has my world become that I think making do with a somewhat broken swivel-sweeper is suffering?
...that not getting my hair dyed professionally every few months is “sacrificing”?
...that living in a small home with a big family is “difficult”?
...that three kids in a bunk-bed is “depriving” them?
THIS is a man sacrificing: a father who risk beatings and even imprisonment to attend the underground church with his family.
THIS is a woman whose life is difficult: the mother who builds a home for her family out of boxes and trash in the garbage slums.
THIS is child who is deprived: a child that hasn’t eaten in days and longs for a DROP of water.
The truth is, I’m not sure what my next step is. How can I use my (VERY blessed) life in a greater way to reach those who are (TRULY) suffering? That’s a question I’m going to be wrestling through with God...everyday...
...everytime my handle comes off my swivel-sweeper.
THAT is going to be my reminder.
A reminder that I’m blessed.
A reminder to pray.
A reminder to give...
...to the poor, needy, lonely, and to those suffering.
And that is why (take note, dear husband!) I don’t want a new swivel sweeper. Thanks to a broken handle, I’m going to have plenty of daily reminders to pray and give to those who are truly in need.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.