Of all our luxuries it was the faucet that made me feel guilty. In Haiti there was only one filtered tap on the compound where we could drink. We were told not to swish from the faucet. Keep your mouth closed while showering. Now back at home I was showering with pure drinking water.
In the broken record of Judges, the Israelites drift from God and are conquered. Enslaved, they cry out and God sends a Judge to save. In chapter three Ehud arrives with Hollywood spectacle. A ruse allows him to be alone with the “very fat” Moabite King. Ehud does not hesitate, but stabs the king and escapes unseen. With graphic detail the Bible writes, “Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.” (Read the story in Judges 3:12-30.)
As a youth minister I would use this story as proof the Bible wasn’t boring. But I never had any better application until I was pondering my trip to Haiti. Then I realized the story was a parable of my own life. It is easy in the culture of excess to not even realize we are enslaved. We have more food, more possessions, more money, more medicine, more technology, more pure drinking water than we need. In a world without we are obese. Overseas I encountered those without. For a moment I lived with less. Realized I needed less. Knew I could give more and be happier for it.
For a moment I killed Greed, the obese King in my life. The one who fills my want list (and convinces me they are needs). The one who points out my neighbor’s possessions and all that is lacking in my own life. This king wants me to be fat. Sometimes with calories, but more often with stuff and luxuries. Even with long showers. This ruler needs to be stabbed and pushed off the throne in my heart.
Unfortunately, with this king, the blade is easy to pull out of the fat. Then he rises again. Soon enough I was no longer troubled by long showers or that the world is filled with orphans… So today I cry out to God for grace and as Ehud I act decisively. Not in violence, but in giving. For generosity is a blade to wield in greed’s death.
Chandler’s team from Haiti returned this past weekend. I was not able to go on the trip, but I am excited to hear their story. This Sunday, May 24th, they will present to the church about the trip. I hope to see you there.