Displace Me

Last weekend we packed up our lives and ventured to Austin to show our support and outrage for the people of Northern Uganda.

M and I had a terrible day preparing for the trip:
Our check engine light came on our "reliable" car.
The rent-a-car place gave us a hassle.
My plans to bring home take out were foiled.
We got stuck in traffic.
The ATM machine ate my debit card.
We were late to the church meet-up.
We had to wait in line too long at the picture counter.

[I am embarrassed, spoiled, and selfish.]

Ten years ago, thousands of Ugandans were forcibly evicted from their homes with only 48 hours notice and transported to overcrowded camps due to the horrific war in the North against the Lord’s Resistance Army. Initially created as a temporary solution, the overcrowded camps now have thousands dying weekly due to the inhumane conditions. “Displace Me” is a symbol of hope for Northern Uganda’s generation that has never known peace.

When we walked a mile from our car to the campsite I thought of the war-torn families seeking the displaced camps in Uganda as a place safe from the murderous LRA. I tried to walk a mile in their shoes and I was already complaining that my belongings were too heavy.
My whole body warmed with shame and self-anger when we built our cardboard shelter. I couldn't help thinking of how often I complain of my three bedroom house wishing it were as nice as my friends houses.

When we waited for the girls between 18-23 to bring us our daily ration of water I was tired and irritated. I didn't feel like waiting to get our full ration because I had brought a secret stash of water for my family. I couldn't even bring myself to share in their insult for 24 hours.

When the men lined up to receive our ration of crackers I wept for the other nursing moms in Uganda who must hope their milk holds out for years so their children don't starve. That night when I nursed Sofie to sleep I thanked God for the abundance of milk my body produces and the food so readily available to my family at every grocery store. I cannot understand the injustice of our world, of my country, in my own heart.

When we spent 21 minutes in silence for the 21 years of war that has plagued Uganda I prayed. I interceded. I wept again. I even chatted a bit with Stacy. What is wrong with me? 21 minutes!

When we sat down to write our senators I was overcome with the despair at the apathy I know America brandishes. I dried my tears and tried to think of what I would say on judgment day.

When it was lights out I stared up into the sky and wondered how God chooses where we shall be born. I wondered why he chose me to be American. I begged him to tell me what to do with all this privelege. I felt sick with the muck of it.

The sky started to sprinkle and a heavy fog fell upon the camp, seeping all the way into the cardboard and destroying most of our temporary homes. And the Lord spoke to me: Give it up. Give it all up. For them. For Me.

I am not there yet. I don't know how to do it. I need help. Selfishness runs through my veins thicker than blood.

I am the rich young ruler who didn't want to sell everything he had for the gospel.
But I don't want to be.

I don't want to be this way the rest of my life.
I don't want to be this way next month.
I don't want to be this way tomorrow.

God, help me not want to be this way today.

No comments