Today the world’s problems got too big for my heart to handle. Up until this point I’ve been able to keep a “safe” distance to not get overwhelmed with all that is transpiring outside my house. But then I saw a post from a friend down in Guatemala. Last fall God invited me to take a trip with him to meet my brothers and sisters living in Guatemala who are considered among the poorest and most vulnerable in our world. It seems that this pandemic will threaten to push the rich and the poor further from one another.
While in Guatemala I visited the garbage dump in Guatemala City that thousands call home and even more call their place of work. Their government has decided in the wake of the coronavirus to shut the dump, and I understand for good reason, but this also means 30,000 people, who already barely eke out a day’s wages for their family to live on are now without work. Let that sink in, 30,000 people. Walking through the cities of this beautiful country I met more folks, mostly women and children, who earn their life wages selling on the street corners. With everyone in quarantine right now their ability to work has dried up too. I know in my own community and country the unemployment rate is climbing to frightening rates but what happens when unemployment meets those that are already vulnerable impoverished people like my friends in Guatemala?
Upon reading this news my heart started to race. What can I do to help? How can I fix something this big? As my anxiety flared up I retreated to my sacred spot, where God and I go to talk together. I cried with him and pleaded what can I do? I’m a helper and an idealist by nature, my desire is to fix what is broken around me but this often means I can get a savior complex, quick. As I looked at the magnitude of the world’s problems feeling guilty that I couldn’t do more God scooped me up and whispered in my ear, “I got this.”
I am thankful that my heart is learning more and more to listen to his gentle voice that tells me I’m already enough. The guilt and anxiety that was starting to crush me made me blind to how I am helping and loving right now in my own home and community in the ways that I can. Fear would desire us to see our efforts as small and therefore meaningless but God says each act of love is huge and impacts his kingdom. Having a dance party with my kids to alleviate their stress is huge. Painting little rocks to place around our neighborhood for our neighbors to find is huge. Being intentional about staying in touch with family and friends to listen and stay connected is huge. Picturing my friends in Guatemala in my heart so I can pray for them, lament with them and share their story is huge. Writing every time I feel an invitation from the Lord to share what’s on my heart with all of you is huge. He showed me that the list goes on and on. The plight of 30,000 people felt too big for me and guess what, it was, but I don’t take on that plight, God does because he’s big enough. I will love here and now how I can and how I am called to.
When Jesus’ disciples were about to face a situation that was going to be too big for them Jesus gave them these words. May they resonate in your heart when fear, anxiety, and guilt try to crush out his gentle voice to you.
“I’ve said these things to you so that you can have peace in me. You’ll have trouble in the world. But cheer up! I have defeated the world!” ~John 16:33