How is it fair?

When we were in Ensenada, we met these beautiful children.
They were sitting next to their lovely mother as she sold little trinkets to tourists on the side of the road
While my Mom looked at their mother's items, I "talked" to the children.
They didn't understand much of what I was saying.
And I didn't understand anything they were saying.
But through smiles and laughing, we understood each other.
I asked the mother in broken spanish if I could take some pictures of them.
Big Brother (blue shirt) was instantly amazed.
I'm not sure if he had ever seen a camera before.
When I showed him the picture of himself on the digital screen, he couldn't stop giggling.
"Mas! Mas!"
He would make funny faces and then point to the screen--indicating that he wanted to see the picture.
Little brother wasn't quite sure what to think of the situation.
He was pouty and stayed a good distance away.
Big Brother noticed Little Brother's hesitancy and decided to include him on the fun.
He motioned for me to take a picture of Little Brother.
When I showed Little Brother the picture of himself, his frown instantly turned to a smile.
And soon he was also saying, "Mas! Mas!"

After a few minutes of snapping pictures and laughing together, it was time to go.
But as I walked away from those sweet children, I couldn't help but think about them.
They were impressed and fascinated by something that seemed so "normal" in my everyday life.

As I was thinking about these children, another boy--probably around 13 years old--approached me to ask if I would buy one of his trinkets.
I politely declined.
But he continued to follow me.
Nothing unusual in Mexico.
But this time, this boy, he was different.
He asked me for money "one dollar. uno dollar."
I honestly only had a debit card on me--no cash.
I told him, "I'm sorry! I don't have any money.  I wish I did!"
And then instantly I saw it--the fire in his eyes.
He looked at me with such hatred.
I had never felt so small on the inside.
I had said, "I don't have any money."
But to him--we had so much.
And from the look in his eyes, I knew he was frustrated with the imbalance of the world.
Here I was: a large camera strapped around my neck, a $200 watch on my wrist, an iphone in my hand, walking back towards an immensely large cruise ship--and I was telling this small boy in tattered clothes and dirty cheeks that "I don't have any money."
He continued to follow me even as I continued to repeat, "No dinero...no dinero. Lo siento!"
With the fire still in his eyes, he would repeat, "No verdad. Mas dinero." (okay---maybe this spanish is wrong, I understood what he was saying from my few years of high school spanish, but I'm not sure if I'm saying it right as I recall the conversation.)
Then he pointed to my watch.
"Give me that."
I looked at the watch.
I suddenly felt wrong wearing it.
And yet--I told him no.
This watch has so much sentimental value: Taylor gave it to me on our first Valentine's Day.
How could I give that up?
But as I walked away--I felt guilt.
And not because I didn't give him my watch--but because somehow, in the large scheme of things, I ended up in a comfortable and easy life.
While this young boy was begging on the streets, clearly consumed with feelings of injustice at how the world had played its cards.

Those small children and that bold, fiery boy left me thinking for the rest of the night.
Am I quick to be fascinated by the simple things in life?
Am I quick to be grateful for what I have?
Am I quick to act in a charitable way and think of others before myself?
Am I quick to ignore my wants and instead focus on someone else's needs?

That 13 year old boy has made me start to think about other imbalances in life:
How is it fair that I was born into a loving family--with supportive parents and wonderful siblings?
How is it fair that I was born in a free country?
How is it fair that I have been lucky enough to find a wonderful eternal companion?
How is it fair that I was born in the gospel while others seem so far from ever finding the truth?

I asked Taylor some of these questions last week.
And he answered simply, "It is fair. God knows what he's doing."
And as much as those thoughts consume me--how is it fair? I find comfort in the fact that God does know what he's doing.
It wasn't just a random distribution of "cards."
While I probably won't ever understand exactly how it works, I know that God loves me as much as he loves those small children in Ensenada.
He listens to me.
He listens to them.
He cares for me.
He cares for them.
He knows me.
He knows them.

And in the end--what could be more fair than the love of a Father in Heaven?

But I also know that I can do my part.
I can help others feel loved.
I can help others feel important.
I can share the love I feel from my Heavenly Father with those who don't quite understand how to feel His love.

And I'm determined to do just that.

No comments:

Post a Comment