live_simply_by_martinblaaberg-d5nx6u3Before Kadi and I traveled to Nepal with Tiny Hands International last month, my prayer was that God would allow us to see Nepal with His eyes, and that He would break our hearts as necessary. While we were there, we repeated this prayer again and again, but we added something significant …

Lord, don’t let us forget.

May our heart change not be temporary.  

May we live differently in light of our broken hearts and eyes that have seen.

I came home committed to living more simply – to minimizing and selling stuff with every intention of sending the money to Tiny Hands. I’m excited that my “reduce” piles are growing.

I read this quote though by Thomas Dubay who wrote “Happy are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom” and it’s rocking my world …

“ . . . it is not enough to give of our superfluities to the needy of our world.  We are to give even from our need … If we love our brother as ourselves, and if he suffers a more radical need than we, surely we will relieve his dire necessity from our lesser one.  The real problem is not in the logic of the matter; it is whether we actually love our neighbor as ourselves.”

The longer we are home, the further away our consecutive mornings with no electricity seem. I’m back to curling my hair and using 4 different products on it without giving it a second thought. My lifestyle more closely resembles a huge scoop of comfort topped with superfluous extras and a cherry on top. It’s embarrassing.

IMG_2361-2When we aren’t passing the poorest of the poor on our daily walk to breakfast as we did in Kathmandu, it’s easy to throw an extra carton of frou-frou coffee creamer in the cart. WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. ME??? Honest to Pete, do I have any idea what it looks like to minimize the gap between my world and the least of these?

The truth of the matter is I am a product of my culture, and our American culture is shamefully rich. We also have no idea what NEED looks like. We glibly throw out, “I need this … and this … and this …,” when what we mean to say is, “I WANT .. it all.”

I’m not going to get this all right, but I do hope I can learn to do it better. That will only happen if I take my cues from God’s Word, rather than from the world.

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.
The rich can be sued for everything they have, but the poor are free of such threats.
…  Ignore the Word and suffer; honor God’s commands and grow rich.
Proverbs 13:7, 8, 13 (The Message)

I don’t think I’ve ever given out of my need. I have MUCH, even when I think we are close to running out of money before we run out of month. Nevertheless, we’ve found ways to live more simply so that others might simply live.

Could you simplify your life such that you might be able to free up $60 a month?

It costs $60 a month to sponsor a Tiny Hands child, which covers the child’s total care. That care includes loving Christian parents, the home where they live, their food, medical care, computer and reading programs within the home and attendance in the best schools that Nepal has to offer. In addition, they become a part of a wonderful home environment where they develop physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. They all attend and are active in a local Christian Church.

Will you join me in learning how to love our brothers and sisters as ourselves?