Ever notice how things you once thought to be abnormal things start to seem normal after you see them over and over?
Begging is a very common practice in Haiti. Very abnormal to this midwest girl. It is not uncommon for me to walk about 5 blocks down to the grocery store here in Port au Prince and have at east 10 people straight up say, "Hey White Girl, give me a dollar."
And they are dead serious. I think they fully expect me to pull a dollar out of my pocket and give each of the them I pass by. That's great stewardship of mission money right? We will eradicate poverty in Haiti by handing out money in the streets.
It is also common to have people come to to your car window and beg. There are "street boys" in Port au Prince that do this with well-practiced perfection. It is so hard to look at their cute faces and huge smiles and not give them money. I am not going to say I have never done it. And I am not going to say I have never thought of bring them home with me. (They are so cute!)
In the midst of this begging lifestyle I have become used to, something happened yesterday. I was riding in a rented van and stopped at a stoplight. I saw across the intersection a brand new Toyota Hilux truck stopped with a well-dressed man sitting in the driver's seat, talking on his brand new looking cell phone. His name brand sunglasses blocking his eyes. I could see his HUGE shiny gold watch gleaming in the sun from the other side of the intersection.
On the other side of that shiny new truck door stood another man in bare feet on the hot pavement. His clothes were torn and dirty. His hair was shaggy and uneven. And the profile view of his face I saw showed despair. If he was acting-he was doing an excellent job. I didn't need to hear what he was saying-I saw it in his out stretched hand.
Just as I had seen at east 50 other people doing that every day. Why did this one particular event of begging stand out?
I am thankful for this wake up reminder that this is not normal. And for the drive it gives me to help others and stand up to injustice, to try to change the wrongs-not just accept them as the norm.
Jesus stood up to the normalcy of the money changers at the temple. He healed on the Sabbath. Daniel prayed 3 times a day-even when faced with death.
The Bible is filed with examples of people who stood up against the normalcy of their time because what what normal wasn't right.
What are things in your life that have become normal because you see it so much?