..tonight in Warsaw, Indiana..

At one point I remember reading something Thomas Merton wrote about the self being ones most potent adversary. Well..

..tonight in Warsaw, Indiana, I face myself.

I pulled into town about 8pm and headed straight to my hotel; a hotel chain I’ve had “encounters” with in the past… You might say that it is “not my favorite” hotel or that I “don’t like it” or even that it has often given me “the creeps.”  In an effort to stay above the board and avoid trash-talk, I will not reveal the name of this chain, but will heretofore refer to it as the “Hotel Wha?”

This particular “Hotel Wha?”, much like others in its national chain, lacks an exercise facility (running/working out is part of my regular routine and helps keep me focused etc..)  It also has a rather questionable breakfast set-up and is overall kinda old. Many of the rooms, including the one I am in currently, were previously smoking rooms and now have that smell that says “I’m not a smoking room.. (cough, cough… hack) what are you talking about? (cough, hack.. *awkward smile*)”.

Well..

..tonight in Warsaw, Indiana, I face myself.

In the morning, I will stand before the students at Grace College in the neighboring town of Winona to speak on behalf of the poorest of the poor; a populace who saw 14,000 children orphaned by HIV/AIDS just today; a populace for whom the “Hotel Wha?” would be a palace. In the morning, it will be March 11, a day Compassion International has set aside for the awareness of the Global Food Crisis, I which 1billion people are going without proper daily nutrition. Finally, and more immediately, it’s pouring outside, which I can see from my window and I cannot help but be reminded of pictures a friend of mine took in Haiti on a recent trip with Compassion; pictures in which entire villages were flooded from the downpour (an annual occurrence during the rainy season).

So I am faced with myself and have to look myself up and down wondering which person am I?  Am I someone who is sincerely perturbed by the stickiness of the carpet in my room?  Do I mean what I will say tomorrow? Or better yet, Do I have any right to say these things, challenging college kids to sacrifice and live more simply so that the least can simply live?  The strange answer to these questions is neither no or yes.  I am learning that the hallmark of Kingdom work is the way it transforms those who do it and that I am one such man whose life is being transformed.  So…

..tomorrow in Warsaw, Indiana I will face myself..

..and I will know that I am not fully who I will become; that I am telling the stories of the least of these because they need our help but also because I need to hear and tell these stories; I need to know these truths. So that, as I grow older I will grow more into a man who more fully reflects the things he knows and believes.  For now, and tonight in Warsaw, Indiana, I am simply thankful for “How great the poor are that, in their poverty, they would allow us the blessed opportunity to serve them.” -Mother Theresa

One Comment

  1. great reflection.
    God is good
    jpu

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