Friday, September 09, 2016

WRESTLING WITH PRIVILEGE & BEING #BLESSED

I'm gonna get honest here.  I sort of hate when people say #blessed.  Is that too honest?  Did I just offend you?  If so, I really am sorry, because I assure you, the problem is mine.  (maybe yours too, but only you can be the judge of that 😉).  I live in a little corner of the world that is drowning in blessings.

We get a good job and feel #blessed.  We find the perfect home and are #blessed.  We have healthy kids and just know that we are #blessed.  The list of #blessings goes on and on.

And, we truly are blessed.  God loves to give good things to his children, and it is a joy to revel in his gifts to our families.

But what about all of those children of God who live in much less glamorous circumstances?  What about the refugees?  What about the aborted children?  What about the entirety of the third world who is often struggling for their daily bread?  Does God love them less than he loves the people here in the epitome of the first world who end up with so many material blessings?

My personality is such that I have always looked for the fun in all things.  I am pre-disposed to be happy(ish) and to enjoy life.  In some ways, this has made adulting hard.  It has not come naturally to look deeper and see hard truths.  I have wanted to look away and keep going on my merry way, because I have had the privilege to do that most of my life.  Because so many things have been good in my life.

I was born into privilege.  I could go on and on about the many different ways that privilege has manifested itself, and I have a greater understanding now that it has underscored so much about how my life has gone.  I am special and unique and gifted, but ultimately, I have been in many of the right places at the right time, because that is what God had for my life.  And I have looked the right way, because of how I was raised and my skin color.  Though I have certainly struggled and had achingly hard times, life has rolled out in a mostly straight line.

As an educated white woman living in America, I make up one of the most "privileged" peoples on earth.  For much of my existence, this has been nothing but a gift.  However, as I continue to see the many unjust things in the world, I'm starting to recognize that with this gift comes enormous responsibility.  God has not called me to soak up the goodness.  In fact, he has actually commanded the opposite of that.

Take up my cross.  Follow me.  Loose the chains of injustice.  Mourn with those who mourn.

None of those things sound fun or easy, so they really conflict with what I wish God would say.  Have fun!  Collect pretty things!  You do you!  Keep being #blessed!  Just being honest.

Instead, God calls us to look around and see who is oppressed.  And not only to SEE them, which is hard enough in itself, but then to GET INVOLVED.  We are blessed to be a blessing.  We are given voices to use them.  Our privilege serves no eternal purpose if we just sit in it.

I realize that I am veering towards preachy here, but if anyone needs to hear it, I need it most of all.

I don't want to miss whatever God has for our family.  I don't want to only see the blessings without seeing who blesses us and how he actually wants us to use those things.

And maybe, just maybe, we have it turned upside down.  God actually tells us, "blessed are the poor in spirit ... blessed are those who mourn ... blessed are the meek".  Maybe, our privilege blinds us to the spiritual poverty that can exist when we live with so many material blessings.

I'm blessed to be a work in progress, and I hope that God will continue to move my heart more towards his and that I will be open to where that takes us.

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