Monday, September 20, 2010


"Oh, you really deserve that vacation." "I don't feel any compassion for you, you deserved that." They didn't deserve to lose their house in that fire."

Deserving. We think about it a lot. In a general sense, and in a personal sense as well. We think of what we believe we should get, what others should get (good or bad) for what they do. In some senses we shouldn't think about it. Scripture points out that not only should we not judge, but if we don't we're literally doing justice even more than judging someone from our perspective. But there are some perspectives where its perfectly logical.

Case in point: as I was talking with a friend last night. She told me about a story she had heard a speaker give at a retreat. It went a little like this:

Haiti. Rivaling Hurricane Katrina for the sheer amount of destruction it caused, the Earthquake that occurred about six months ago brought missionaries, humanitarians, emergency relief workers and droves of other volunteers to try and resurrect what they could of the city of Port au Prince and save those who were still alive. This speaker was one such missionary. The church they had been sent to help, while still stood in parts, had not been entered by a soul since the Earthquake for fear that it would cave in on them. The church was now holding their services on the broken gravel outside the building, and this man was helping out. On one Sunday, a little girl from the congregation went over to him and wrapped around his leg. "What's your name?" he asked. She said it was Lovely. Indeed it was. This little girl was literally the last living member of her family. All of them had died in the tumult of the Quake. "Where do you sleep?" He asked. She pointed at the ground beneath them. After trying to rephrase and reiterate the question multiple times, he realized she was really telling the truth; she literally slept on the gravel they were standing on. "The only difference," he said to the crowd my friend was sitting in back in the U.S., "between my daughter who is the exact same age and that little girl, was that she was born in Haiti, and my daughter was born in America."

Almost immediately the thought rushed to my mind. "Why did that girl not deserve the life that man's daughter has?" She's probably twice more deserving of it then most Americans who don't know what the term " 3rd world nation" means. Oh, no. There's that word again. Now while it's a little different to want a good life for a little girl  in Haiti as compared to wanting your personal Justice to be served, it's till wanting what you may think is right, and there's a much better answer: they are where they are because of God's plan. There are all things we think we deserve or want. But as Steven Curtis Chapman so expertly put it "God is God, and I am not. I can only see a part of the picture he's painting. God- is God and I am man, so I'll never understand it all, for only God is God." We are all part of a larger plan. It breaks his heart to see his daughter sleeping on the cold gravel at night, but its part of His plan. That story could have inspired a future missionary. God is giving us what we desrve or need to deserve to fill out His greater plan. I could sit for hours and question things. What did I do to deserve this, or what did that person do to deserve that? Frankly, it wouldn't matter. God knows what he's doing. He wants us to know that all of these tough things are the little black dots that mix into a more beautiful color that's part of the bigger picture. and that ultimately, we'll gain His ultimate prize for following his will:


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