My husband and I had a nice dinner with dear longtime friends last night. After-dinner conversation ranged from some local changes in our city, to catching each other up on our various kids, and then a little politics and the VA gun lobby day coming up.
I am not much of a talker anymore. Even though I finally got hearing aids (for which I am very thankful) I have been out of the loop in so many ways, for so long with various physical challenges, but also because I am watching and longing for the blessed hope, so as the conversation got into the area of music and movies, I couldn’t really add much at all to the discourse. Of course they all work full time jobs, with coworkers of every belief system, lifestyle, etc. But I would much rather have had a conversation about things that actually matter. That is so rare .
In a house with 3 males and myself, the guys had the pick of movies (lots of sci-fi and blow-em-up types) and I mostly stayed home. Not a moviegoer, TV watcher, nor have I ever kept up on music artists, whether Christian or secular.
I had spent some time earlier in the afternoon looking into the decline of Venezuela, in light of the socialist push taking place here in America. I know they were socialist long before Chavez died, and I know that Maduro is corrupt and stole the last election, then filled their equivalent of congress with his supporters. But when a vlogger goes into the barrios where even graves have been robbed of the treasure people used to bury with their loved ones, where the average salary is the equivalent of $6/ MONTH, and he interviews the poor and films their living conditions, and then goes also into the wealthy districts where wealthy elite think nothing of paying $40.00 for a tee shirt, it is very sobering. There in the wealthy district it is all one big party. The vlogger asked the shop owner, don’t you feel bad selling $40 shirts when most of your countrymen and women can’t even feed their family (average citizen has lost 25lbs from scarcity of food), and her answer just turned my stomach. She said, essentially “No, because what’s the use of everybody being depressed? It is good they see not everybody is poor so it gives them hope.”
The Venezuelan poor viewed Chavez as a hero. He used the oil market while prices were artificially inflated, to pour money into social welfare, but when the price of oil dropped, he had not reformed the system. Oil prices that were artificially inflated, came back down as areas became more energy independent. Now even the oil derricks are abandoned and neglected, and so much so that the one readily accessable source of income and food , the fishing industry, has been decimated due to all of the oil leaking into the sea there. Few have running water or electricity.
Now the poor are worse off than ever, and many parents have even abandoned their own children. The poor help each other as best they can, but there is no justice so crime, kidnappings for ransom, robberies, it is like the wild west. The subway still runs, to prevent riots, but the gov’t can’t pay for employees, so no tickets, the ride is free, as long as the trains continue to function. Likewise, hospitals run, but without bandages, gloves, medication, stitches, etc. One “emergency crew” had 12 ambulances, but only 2 that function because no money for repair and maintenance.
As I sat, mostly listening to the others talk, and having my own thoughts of the cry of Americans for socialism, I felt like such an alien among them, my own husband, best friend, and her husband, all of whom are professing Christians. Everyone who knows me, knows about my blog, but only one of the people I know personally reads it regularly or watches the videos. I can’t write as much as I would like, because everything is done on my phone. 2 laptops in the house, but neither reliable.
It is harder every day to comprehend. Even in light of my understanding that not everyone is called to be a watchman, (or, perhaps ” many are called, but few are chisen” applies here), but I can’t understand the lack of interest, and the refusal to be informed, thinking life will just keep rolling on the same without anyone seeing to it. The more awareness I have, ( granted , I may be too aware) the more the disinterest of so many troubles me. My husband is aware, but he is necessarily focused on the day to day provision, and immediate concerns, and taking up some things I can’t do now, like grocery shopping, or helping me with things I can do, but still need some help with. And everyone is busy, I understand that. When they do have down time, they want something light, and uplifting. I can’t really fault that either. I just make the contrast in terms of my feeling so ” apart’ from others. In the same world, but unable to relate anymore to so much that seems to essentially be the fabric of life for others.
I was in a good bit of pain by the time we got home, being past the time I usually take my night dose of anti-inflammatory. Once it kicked in, I was relieved to climb into bed.
Then the first news I saw was that David Harris Jr. article about the UN office-recruiting paramilitary troops for purposes of disarmament, and I think about the utter hornets nest just stirred up in Iran. We know better than to “borrow trouble” and we take every thought captive. This thing has to blow at some point and the longer it doesn’t, the higher the pressure with which it will explode.
I read Geri Ungerean’s post last week about the constant battle with depression she has had all of her life, and how surprised she was to hear from so many others who feel the same. I was not surprised, but that is only because I had opened up long ago about my struggles and heard from many who shared their own stories. I understand what Geri feels. I in no way consider my health issues worse than those of others. I know there are people laboring to minister, or just to live, under worse challenges than pain and depression. The bible says our faith is “perfected” in those trials. Perfected in this context, means ” made complete”. That doesn’t make it easier to bear our own, though.
I think I make the common mistake of putting faith in faith itself, forgetting that the things we wait and hope for depend on the Lord, not the “size of our faith”. It is common because the word-faith, positive attraction garbage has become so endemic.
I think we all have to cling to the promise that when things break loose, the Lord said He will come quickly. The birth pangs have been going on for a long time. This year looks likely to bring a breaking point, and yet we all admit that we thought 2 years ago, or 7 or 10, that surely it can’t sustain much longer. God knows our personal limits. I never feel like I do enough, but that is why I have to trust that God is working His own work in me and others, so there is probably a lot more happening than we realize, in terms of the work we do. And besides that, little becomes much when given to the Lord. He multiplies it. It is always God who brings the increase.
Some people think this focus is pure negativity. I say, we would not have had the temporary reprieve that has had ripples throughout the world, were it not for the watchmen and women, who saw the direction we were headed in, and the intercessers who cried out in repentance and pled for mercy on behalf of our nation. Christians outside America, all over the world, understood better than most Americans do, what was at stake in the last election.
Encouragenent is crucial. But there is too woeful a shortage of telling of the hard truths, for everyone to be about encouraging. There is a time for everything, and when the Titanic was sinking, the danger was ignored until it was too late to avoid the iceberg. There us so much more at stake now. Eternity.
We have managed to wake up some, but mostly, I think we have helped one another keep pressing on and sounding the alarm just being able to click on one anothers sites and know we are not alone in the struggle nor in our excitement and hope.
Strangers and aliens. The world is not my friend, and not my home, and I have felt that way a very, very long time, but I can honestly say, that sentiment keeps growing more urgently true every minute lately. It seems no matter how hard we work, more resistance piles on. For me, it is often a setback, whether physical, or technical, such as 5 attempts to publish one post and somehow they disappear. It is too consistent to be coincidental.
I just want something I have said or done in this life to count for eternity because the Lord deserves that.