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How Far Is The Hill?

I’m in Guatemala right now, taking a handful of sponsors and radio broadcasters on a trip to see how Compassion is changing the lives of children in poverty [3]. And I just had to share something that hit me today. I’ll try to keep this short because the internet service here is so iffy that I doubt I’ll be able to write much.

As we were driving to one of the child development centers, we saw a lot of poverty. Families living in shacks made of scraps of wood, tin … and mud bricks. We saw women working in the corn fields and men sweating in the afternoon heat as they heaved loads of cinder blocks for their construction jobs. But off in the distance, we saw some nice big houses … perched along the hillsides. Those hills overlook the areas where the impoverished families live. (I’d upload a photo but it’s apparently too much for the internet service, and my computer freezes up.)

My first thought, as we were driving by, was “How can those people live in those huge, nice houses and look out from their shaded balconies at such poverty? How can they sleep at night in those big homes, knowing that five, six … maybe as many as eight people are crammed into a tin shack, sleeping on a dirt floor, with growling tummies just a hundred yards away?”

Then I realized … the only difference between me and those people is how far away the hill is. My hilltop home is a thousand miles away instead of a hundred yards. So I must be willing to ask the same questions of myself. “How can *I* live in my big home knowing that poverty is stealing so much from innocent families?” How dare I judge. How dare I question … unless I’m willing to question myself.

Truth is, I don’t know the hearts of those people who live in those big homes (which were only “big” by comparison to the shacks in the foreground. In actuality, they were about the same size as my house.) I don’t know them. They may be the providers of jobs for those families. They may be the ones keeping their local economy from completely tanking.

But I do know my heart. And I know I’ve got some growing to do. I know that God blessed me with a nice home, a wonderful family and a great job … not so I could sit on my shaded balcony, turning a blind eye to the needs of the world, but so I could be part of the solution.

It’s not wrong to be blessed. But I believe it *is* wrong to be blessed and not be thankful for it. It *is* wrong to be blessed and not share that blessing.

How far is your hill from poverty?