Friday, April 11, 2008


We watched the American Idol special Idol Gives Back the other night (because yes, we are American Idol watchers, and I admit that without any shame). Some of the performances are kind of cheesy, and some of it is a little over the top, but all-in-all it really was quite eye-opening. The mini-documentaries that they play throughout the show of various parts of Africa and even our own country are nothing short of heartbreaking. As we were climbing into bed I told my husband, "It really does put things into perspective." And it does! Here we are in our nice home, with nice things, all of our wonderful family surrounding us, never hungry, never wanting-- God has granted us so, so, so, so much more than we deserve or than we even need. Sure, we're not rich, and we have to scrimp and save from time to time, and there are certainly things in life that we can't afford yet, but that is nothing. Nothing at all compared to the conditions some of these people live in. It was a wonderful reminder-- to be so grateful and never take our blessings for granted, as well as to remember to use these blessings God has given us so graciously for the good of others.

But there was something else about that show that struck me even more than seeing all the poverty. I couldn't figure out quite what I was feeling, and then I happened over to Karen's blog this morning, and she had this quote as one of her "great thoughts":

"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate." ~ Charlotte Gray

That's it. Right there. Seeing all those poor children, especially in Africa, left without home, food, or family and living on the streets or in a tiny hut in unimaginable conditions just breaks my mother-heart. They are sick and hungry, and sleeping on the streets, and all alone. At one time, they must have had mothers who loved them, even if she could not properly care for them. And what must that mother have thought as she lay dying, knowing that her babies would be orphaned and left to a hopeless state? I know if anything happened to Jeremy or me, or both of us, there would be many loving and willing family members to care for and love them in our stead. So many of these little children in Africa have no one once their parents are gone -- because everyone else is already dead. I can't even bear to think of my own two little darlings in such a state as so many of these precious children are living in.

As a Christian, I know and am very well aware that we do not live in a perfect world, and I know that is for a reason. But it is still hard to see things like this, and know that they exist. However, being made more aware of these sorts of conditions serves a good purpose. It gets me outside my own little protected place and spurs me on to prayer for the world around me. It reminds me to give where I can to those who are less fortunate than us. And it makes me grateful-- so grateful that my little ones are safe and sound here with us, happy, healthy, cared-for, and surrounded by love. I pray I will never take any of these things for granted.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits...." ~Psalm 103 (read it all!)

***Edited to add: One thing I thought was very interesting was that last night, the song the top 8 sang happened to be "Shout to the Lord". I must commend whoever made that decision, because it was the perfect song and message after seeing all those horrible things. "Nothing compares to the promise we have in You!" And we can praise Him even in the midst of a world that is filled with such things they showed.


alyssa said...

First of all, YES!-somebody watches American Idol and I am not the only one I know!!! I was sad to see the Australian guy go, he is one of my fav's and better than at least 3 of the people left in my opinion!

That show made my eyes water every time they showed one of those clips. I wish I had some extra money to give. I thought it was cool to see them do Shout to the
lord, but I was also surprised they did that song (it's not something you would usually see). Good post, I agree that it does put things into perspective...and I feel selfish for the things that I complain about.

Stephanie said...

ohh Shout to the Loud is one of my favorites to sing as loudly as I can (which ends up sounding quite horrible, but hey that's okay). Too bad I don't wait American Idol, I'm sure it was good.

Emma looks like she is up to something in that picture there :)

Band of Brothers said...

I used to be a die hard Idol fan, but this season just escaped me...thanks for the reminder of how we need to do more to help those who are less fortunate. It's so easy to get caught up in our own bubble. I was drowning in chores today, feeling so overwhelmed, but this totally put it in perspective.

Megan said...

WowEE is that a powerful quote. I love how in tune your heart is with the things of God. It's such an example to me- how thankful and aware you are of God's gifts.

Paulette said...

I cried at the qoute. It's so so true. My husband and I used to be addicted to almost every crime show but hardly watch them anymore because we just can't take the scenes that have anything to do with children being hurt or left without a parent. As a mom, you can feel the pain all to closely.

Scott and Lorie said...

yup, you nailed in on the head. I have become a mom of all children. I can't tell you how many times I've watched something since Henry was born and I had to go and just hold him or go kiss his face while he's sleeping, thankful he's okay, thankful he's here, thankful. And I now know why.

Oh Talia, I love your heart.