How to Deal with What We See


As we move about the city, whether walking or riding, we see so many things. On the way to the church there is a little pool on the side of the road. Water collects there, either by way of a broken water main or because it’s just a natural place for water to collect. It’s dirty water no matter how you look at it.

Every time we pass that place we see soapy kids, still half-clothed, splashing around and bathing. We see women washing clothes, cars parked to be cleaned, plastic water bottles being rinsed out to be used again, buckets, and even wheel barrows, being filled. Basically anything you can imagine doing with water is being done there.

It’s an unforgettable sight.


Man carrying water in a wheel barrel


Coming back to Malawi this year I was once again overwhelmed by the sights. I thought that this year would be easier. I thought I would be ok with the “what we see” part of Malawi, but I was wrong. The imagery is still just as powerful as ever. I can’t remember how I dealt with it last year, but maybe that’s all part of the plan.

A few days ago I was surprised by something curious. In the midst of one of these very sights, I stopped for a minute because I sensed a feeling I had felt before. I asked myself, how is it possible that I have joy? Of all the times and places, how is it here and now that I find my heart filled with joy? I think I’m learning that I don’t have to be happy with what I see in order to experience joy.

II Corinthians 6:10 says, “As sorrowful, yet always always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.”

Ministering to all aspects of peoples’ lives is the most humbling experience of my life. I certainly don’t have any strength to be here, but the joy of the Lord has become my strength. Everyday we see the poorest people we have ever seen, but joy lets us see these very poor people as possessing all things.

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3 Responses

  1. Love this post, Matt. Our natural value system and economy is opposite to God’s and there’s not a permanent fix for it 🙂

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