Flashback to last June. (I've added a few things :))
We’ve been told as interns that we will at some point come to a place where we need God so desperately, where we think we won’t be able to go on and finish the summer. I really haven’t hit this place yet because I think I’m still ecstatic that I’m done with my spring semester, but part of me hopes that I reach that place. The place where I realize that I need God more than anything else. The place where I don’t think I’m going to make it to the end of the summer unless God carries me the rest of the way.
This past week was our first build without a staff member, and I really think that it went great. We built a single for a young couple with three kids. What was crazy to me was that in the picture on the application I had for the family, Carlos (the youngest) was wrapped in a blanket and laying in his mother’s arms. He’s now almost 3 years old.
On the first or second day we were building, a neighbor came over and began explaining to me how he had been waiting for his house for two years now and he wanted to know when it was going to come. And in my limited, beginning-of-the-summer-in-Mexico Spanish, I tried to explain why his house hadn't come yet.
My mind flashes to many things when I remember this man and his question about when he was going to get the house he was promised. I think about how we complain about when we’re going to get our food at a restaurant because we’ve been waiting twenty minutes and the table next to us got their food before we did. When maintenance is going to come fix our hot water heater because it’s been out for two days.
Can you imagine going up to someone and saying, “Hey, I put in an order for a house two years ago and was just wondering when it’s going to come because my family is hot and my kids have to sleep on the concrete in the dirt that blows in through the cracks in our walls. And every time it rains our plywood ceiling molds and I hope my family doesn’t get sick from it. And in the winter the cold wind blows through the wooden pallets we put up as walls, and I’m afraid my elderly mother won’t make it. And because we spend so much money fixing our shack and paying for land, there's no money for food, so sometimes we eat the rats that run in the streets.”
I wish we all could have experiences like these. Eye-opening, heart-wrenching experiences. I wish I could learn to control my temper when someone else complains about something lame. I wish I could learn to stop complaining about something lame. (Man, I'm a hypocrite sometimes.) I wish that people didn't have to ask for houses, but that it would be something available to everyone.
But that's not the way it is.
And so God calls.