Quite awhile ago I came across this picture in a discarded magazine from 2002. I was struck by it. I studied it carefully and wondered about the circumstances that surrounded it. I wondered if the two children were brother and sister. What were their names? Maybe they had memories of happier days. It appears from what the girl was carrying that they had once had a home. But did they have anything more than each other and the meager possessions she carried? Were their parents alive at the time of the picture? I wondered where they were going and what they were thinking at the time of this photo.
Then I cut it out and put it in my desk drawer and forgot about it (or where I'd gotten it from).
Yesterday I found it as I was cleaning my office. Once again, I was struck by it. But this time I wondered about my life as much as theirs. I have a very comfortable life. I'm well-off and have enough to share. It's not that I don't already share with people in need, but it's just that I'm wondering if I'm meant to do something more with part of my remaining surplus. I'm wondering if I can look at this picture (or the millions like it if I dare to look for them) and then continue my life unfazed -- unchanged -- unconcerned.
I'm looking in the mirror here, not at whoever may be reading this. And I know Ezekiel 16:49 all too well to put this out of my mind. "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." Consider me fazed. Once again, I'm stirred to adjust some of my spending patterns to ensure that my excess results in someone else's solace.
© 2009 by Ken Peters