Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life Lessons from a Roach

It was an interesting morning this morning. I pulled into the dirt parking lot of a small little church in our local community. They were having a health fair and I went to represent Care Net and give out our information. Though we arrived early to set up, not many people showed up initially, therefore I decided to make a run to Dunkin Donuts to grab some coffee, and of course, a vanilla frosted donut with sprinkles.

While standing in line to pay, my friend and I noticed an average size cockroach crawling on the cash register. My friend pointed it out to the employee who made a failed attempt to kill it. But it did what cockroaches do best, and escaped into a small crevice of the register. I then thought about ALL the donuts sitting out in the open air. If there's one roach, I know from experience there are more. But honestly, it didn't faze me. I still ordered a donut, and enjoyed every bite, much to the concerned look on my friends face (haha!). This small little ordeal brought back a flood of memories, and I proceeded to tell my friend all my roach stories from India. The constant game of hide and seek between my toothbrush and the roaches, the infestation in our kitchen one time no matter HOW much we cleaned, sprayed and set traps, how you force yourself to NOT think about where your food has been, or what's been in it, and just eat it and enjoy it. These memories made me laugh, and believe it or not, MISS India. How roaches can make you want to actually return to a place, I have NO idea. But it did. Because that little roach reminded me of so much more than that... it reminded me of all the amazing experiences and relationships I had.

But then we drove back onto the lot of the little church. There were still not many people there, but we connected with the few that were. One of the gentlemen I know works hard in our community giving free HIV/AIDS tests and informing people about the dangers, risks and how to get help. Another gentleman I know, was born and raised in our community, is now close to 60 years old, and runs an activity center here where at risk and underprivileged youth can go to get tutored, food and have a safe place to hang out. He has a hard job, but he LOVES what he does. The woman I met who organized the health fair event has a passion to reach our youth, encouraging them to make wise and positive choices for their lives.

Towards late morning, all of us gathered to tell everyone about what we each do in the community. We started with prayer, and a lively chorus of "Look what the Lord has Done." Though the building we were in was small and pretty old, I realized I was sitting in a room full of people who care about our little community. They are reaching out, right where they are, and I felt honored to be there. I thought about my experiences in India, and was yet again reminded of the desperate need, no matter WHERE we are. The physical needs and spiritual strongholds may be different depending on the location, but they ALL need Jesus. And hopefully, by meeting physical needs in our community, these agencies are bringing Christ into all that they do.

Though I know I'm going back to India, hopefully sooner than later, God constantly reminds me to continue reaching out wherever I'm at. Whether it's with my local church, my job, or just in everyday life. What can you do today to help someone in need?

Thank you, dear little roach, for this little life lesson. 

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