H2O project...I am taking the morning off from the water only consumption. I am enjoying a special drink made with love at my home away from home known as Hotwire. It goes along with the double chocolate donut that also probably doesn't factor into many people's view of a Lenten fasting. I know, I know...I'm sure it's not the best example for someone leading a community of faith in this season of sacrifice. So get it all out ... "Don't do as I do....", " practice what you preach" , " you are a leader...you have a higher level of expectation". Yes, yes, and yes. I've heard it all, know it all, said it all. My penance for this infraction will be to add the amount spent twice and offer it for the sake of clean water. It's not that I don't believe in the cause. It's not even that I couldn't probably push through for a few more days. It's fundamentally that I'm human and in certain moments of weakness and insecurity, formy sanity's sake, I need a healthy leveling mechanism. You may question my definition of healthy, but considering the many alternatives offered by this world, a latte and a double chocolate donut seem fairly mundane.
But here is what I'm wondering as it sit, trying to remember to think of all that is good and right and pure. Considering that I am in a momentary "break of the fast" for a questionable version of breakfast, I can't help but wonder what people in those parts of the world, that I am fasting on behalf of, do to center themselves as I am attempting to do this morning? I mean really, for a parent raising children in a village without clean water, what do they do in response to whatever their weakness may be? I want it to be understood that I believe that "weakness" is a very relative term. In my estimation, having had the privilege of meeting and spending time among parents for which this is a constant reality, I have seen their weaknesses, in some degree,as towering above most of my strengths. In other words, I cannot fathom the level of strength that must accompany joy in the midst of this level of suffering.
It is at least a reality check. I have a difficult morning/day/week/year and I retreat to the comfort of lattes. Where is their retreat? To be sure, in these villages, there is desperation beyond measure. I've also seen their joy and contentment beyond my ability to comprehend. We often look to them and want to relieve the suffering in whatever way is within our means. That part I can get my head around. I can appreciate it and contribute to it...but I have to wonder, beyond the physical needs which I do not wish to dismiss or minimize, do they have access to something that I, in all my relative wealth, have no understanding of. Could it be that suffering is the key? Could it be that a certain depth of suffering brings to light an understanding and an incorporating of our weakness? Within my own faith I have the opportunity to teach on what Jesus has presented as a concept of suffering, the virtues of poverty, and the idea that, contrary to American culture, it will be the meek who prevail. It comes from my mouth and sometimes some of the words may even stick and resonate, but I have never really grasped it apparently. I spend all of my efforts to combat it, run from it, and hide the weaknesses that I teach can actually unleash Gods power to transform not only myself but all those I encounter. And today I wonder, why would one do that? What drives us to cover it up? In the end, I'm embarrassed to think that, for me, a simple walk from my backyard, across a courtyard, and into a coffee shop can help me recalibrate my day. Maybe that is my real weakness.