Living here, she has begun to skip breakfast, eats a sandwich and apples for lunch, and shares dinner with us. She has developed a penchant for corn chips and cookies.
For Americans, my husband and I are inconsistently careful. For breakfast we make green smoothies, for lunch we normally eat leftovers from an earlier dinner, and for dinner we eat vegetables, grains and and often some meat. Through out my day, I throw in as many snacks as I can and still please my nutritionist.
Our long-term house guest picks at the small servings she takes of our dinner. She does not cook what she would prefer. She likes meat and pasta, which we sometimes do serve. But we do not serve that every night.
I care about this young woman and wish for her sake and mine, that she could enjoy our shared meals.
It is an aggravating experience to talk with her. I say, "But aren't you going to tell your children to eat their vegetables?" She has no response. If she doesn't change, there won't be many vegetables on their plates to worry about eating. Maybe in Nicaragua there are not many vegetables available. If that is so, she will most likely return to beans and rice as her staples, which is a stronger choice than the ones she is making currently.
I have been pondering the human dimension involved in receiving the gifts of, not just your host family, but of God. We pray for all kinds of things, like peace, happiness, stability, grace, truth, light, love. Receiving these gifts of God requires something of us. We need to be willing to be changed and that change may feel as if we are being turned inside out.
Psalm 119:33 and 34 say, "Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart." The Psalmist asks for good teaching vowing to follow in its path. That is easier said than done. We all know more than we consistently practice.
In Matthew 23:1-3 we read, "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach." Jesus knows how easy it is to hold one another to a standard we cannot attain.
So I am pondering my responsibility to receive God's truth that I desire in in the depths of my soul. How often do I argue, resist, or diminish the truths, the gifts of God? I want to become stronger, purer, a more consistent child of God for God's glory and my benefit.
The area in which I most often resist is with my gift of writing. It is very difficult for me to imagine that writing matters, will make a difference in my life or anyone else's life. Which reminds me of the subtle difference eating vegetables makes in one's life over time.
Therefore, I have set myself down on my desk chair and am writing this morning, trusting this gift to reveal its meaning as God wills.