Thursday, February 17, 2005

I’m home from the retreat with all those preachers. Being out in the quiet woods for three days brightened my spirits as did eating great meals with preacher pals. Some of the speakers were great while others must have thought they were preparing for 19 year olds who were inexperienced with Bible study. I note this disparity between my interests and the presentations only because I know that being a speaker, far from home, works well at times or flops. Maybe the speakers weren’t told much about our group or were given nebulous instructions about the retreat.

My head cold meant I wasn’t my best self. Snorting and blowing into tissues while my head feels like it’s enclosed in a plastic bag of water means I may be a tad more critical than when I feel good. I’m not much better this morning although being home helps.

I had one blast-out flare-up with my focus group which was useless. Not proud of it. Wish I’d kept quiet. Between nose blows I lost my temper over the light-weight, airy discussion of how great it is to help with AIDS orphans overseas. I’m in favor of helping all children. I want AIDS orphans to have what they need: happy homes, good support as they grow up and so on. However, we have suffering children here at home. Happy slappy evangelicals strike me as unwilling to get involved with the public health issues of AIDS patients in our neighborhoods. Could be help our children and families here with all the physical, political needs our citizens need AND be available to help children around the world? Why not? It’s scandalous how we believers do next to nothing for the vulnerable among us but make sure we send cartons of Bibles to far away places.

Sanitized, manageable Christian work. Yuk. Ewwww. Gross.


PPB said...

Speaking on behalf of at least a few families with HIV+ children in the US that I work with, there is a sense that kids in Africa did nothing to deserve it and that folks in the US somehow sinned and deserved it. I can't tell you how painful this is. One of my campers' church is doing fundraising for kids with AIDS in Africa, while the pastor refuses to acknowledge that this child is even positive--or that her mother died of the disease. Like you, I'm all for eliminating this heinous disease everywhere it's found, but believe that those that focus their efforts overseas exclusively are ignoring pain literally in their own back yard.

Aola said...

Amen, and amen to taking care of our kids at home. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to hear people talk about wanting to "go to the nations" How about going to your neighbor first.

~m2~ said...

man, i loved this post. i may have to print it out for posterity's sake.

i think it may be more, for lack of a better word, *romantic* to care for the poor and underprivileged and AIDS inflicted folks over *there* than it is *over here*. over here might just be a tad bit too close to home.