Monday, August 24, 2015

Reflections on Kisses from Katie

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis is remarkable story of courage and kindness. I admire Katie's faith and her work ethic. She has a big heart and showers love on everyone she meets. I would like to meet her someday and thank her for all the work she has and is doing. I would like to be more like her too, filled with charity and say "yes" to the Lord regardless of what He asks of me and to be thankful, as Katie is, that He does not let me have control.

"I am so thankful that God in His grace does not allow me to win. Because usually the fight is not really about what He is asking me to do...It is about me trying to figure out just how much control I have over my own little life. At this point, not much." (227)

After a brief visit to Uganda over the Christmas holidays, Katie returns to make the red dirt land her permanent home. Not only does she begin a non-profit organization in order to provide opportunities for education to hundreds of underprivileged  Ugandan children but she also provides them with basic medical care. Many of the children in Uganda suffer from one disease or another, including scabies that burrow into their feet, lay eggs, and leave open sores. Treatment is usually quite simple but for one reason or another too many families are going without medical aid of any kind. Heck, even a bath is a luxury for most children. I considered this thought as I bathed my own children in a clean, white, porcelain tub where water magically comes from a temperature controlled faucet and happy smelling shampoo is applied to clean the dirt and food from their faces and bodies. I don't know how a shampoo can smell happy but this one does. I wrap them in a warm, dry, hooded towel and sing a little song. They get into their clean pajamas, snuggle into their clean sheets, on their own mattresses with their stuffed animal friends snoozing beside them. That scene alone makes us more blessed than almost all the children in Uganda. And I take it for granted every single time. It is not a luxury for our family, it's just part of our routine. Our routine also includes three square meals a day filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, typically with snacks eaten in between.

We recently bought new shoes for the girls, and we spent a little more than usual because if you buy cheap you get cheap, and I want these shoes to last because they have to. According to US standards, my family is well below the poverty line; however, after reading Katie's book I realized that for me (and this directly applies to me and my family and no one elses) the idea of poverty is my own invention. I am able to work and provide food and water and baths and clothes and new shoes to my children (maybe the last three don't happen every day but still, they are provided for). I am able to wrap them up tight in their blankets and not worry about mosquitoes biting them all night and giving them malaria. They receive routine immunizations to prevent diseases from ravaging their bodies. Their health alone makes me wealthy and with the addition of everything else, I am rich beyond measure. I am so blessed and grateful and should remember that more often. 

The wonderful and amazing thing about Katie is her faith that the Lord will provide. I am jealous of her faith. A single drop of her faith could move mountains. Through the grace of God, Katie heals the sick, feeds the hungry, and teaches all those willing to listen. I value her honesty as she states often throughout her book that she is not perfect, none of us are, but she listens to the Lord and follows his promptings. By doing so, she is often found in hard places, helping those who need it most and sacrificing when it looks like she has nothing left to give.

"God has a way of using inadequate people and sometimes He calls us to reach a little higher or stretch a little further, even when we feel we can't do it anymore." (109).  

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