Prompt: This is a prosperous time of life for you.
Actually. I haven’t been paid yet.
My life is prosperous right now. Too many people claim a gospel of prosperity that is founded in cash and possessions alone. And yes, right now I am blessed in these. But I am also prospering in my relationships and new situations.
All the new things, marriage, a new job, the blessing of being a pastor of two churches, a creative sister who comes to visit because she loves me, the blessing of summer produce sold twice a week less than a mile away, all these things are signs of my prosperous life.
Today I celebrate being married for two whole months. Yes, for all you who have been married for years on end, more are due to you, but I am celebrating a blessed union with my partner. He makes me smile, and laugh, and think about things differently. He cares for me when I am wounded or sick, and he lets me blow off steam when I need to. He lets me experiment in the kitchen and generally loves what I cook. And he loves me.
My sister is coming up to visit, as we celebrate the end of an epic story. Except for when I was out of the country, we have seen all the movies together. What is even cooler, is that my cousin wants to watch it with us, too. So we are all going to see it, together. (I talking about Harry Potter, for those who are not excited by the magic.)
So. Those are examples of how my life is prosperous now. I don’t have much money, but I have enough. More than enough, compared to most of the world. But even others, who are around the world, can prosper.
But some cannot. There is a famine in east Africa now. It really has been going on since I was there, the first time. Somalis are walking many miles across the border to get to safety and are finding only over-worked and over-populated camps. I read a story of a woman who carried her child directly to the medical site, and found her child had died on her back. That is not prosperity. That is despair.
How do I live with myself, worried that I can only use one of the showers in my house, when there are millions of people who don’t have water to drink. And billions who don’t have clean water.
God provides for me to enjoy what I have. And I am thankful. Indeed, the thanks become more genuine when I see such disparities as these. I am thankful that I have been blessed to be so privileged. And still I can work, slowly, bumblingly, to change or to effect or to influence others to have a new way of seeing what we could do.
And that change will be a blessing.