Friday, December 9, 2011

Power and the Christmas Season

As I sit here enjoying our Christmas tree lights (although it is a small fake one - no Oregon mountains to go get a fresh tree here), I am struck by the beauty of such simplicity and the joy it brings to my heart. I am grateful for the power that has been 'on' more this week than it has been 'off.' (Something that has 'not' been the norm since we returned here last month.)
My mind quickly shifts to the local Ugandans who live here. For many, living without power is an everyday occurrence. They rely upon others to recharge their cell phones and local businesses for all of their power needs. They make their supper largely in the dark using small charcoal cookers. As soon as the sun is up, their new day begins again. It is no wonder that they rarely eat breakfast here before beginning their day when the labor of it all would take so much time. Rather, it is more pressing to get started on the work set out before them. Besides, there is most likely not enough money to prepare three meals each day anyhow. Instead, they often rely upon the trees along the road for a quick snack to bide off their hunger and eat a rather large meal at the end of the day, filling their plates in heaps of food but possibly not with much nutritional value.
Yes, as I think upon the local life and how grateful I am for mine (not just the Christmas tree lights), it is no wonder that giving up the regular comforts of home surrounded by friends and family in America seems so not like much of a sacrifice to us. (although it doesn't mean I don't miss it and my heart even aches at times) Somehow we enjoy the simple pleasures and comforts that we can enjoy here perhaps more than we ever did before. God's gifts come to us in so many packages and for me, at least for the moment, it is the safe home and a couch to sit on, watching Christmas tree lights (enjoying the gift of power) and praying for the Ugandans surrounding me that God would give them some simple beauty to also enjoy this day.