Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Imagine No Malaria- Lenten Devotion Day 7: February 19

Tuesday, February 19, 2013: Princes and Princesses 

Matthew 19:14 “Let the little children come tome, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

About a month ago, I traveled to Haiti as part of a building team. Our group included folks from all walks of life - a lawyer, a pastor, a chef, a church secretary, and a nurse to name a few. What we all had in common that week was the desire to serve and to connect with our brothers and sisters in Christ in this country. 

But we had something else in common that week. We were all at risk of contracting malaria from a simple mosquito bite. Without proper medication, we could become severely ill from a wound the size of a pin prick – a mark so tiny and yet full of deadly potential. So while we were unpacking our luggage, our host was explaining the use of the mosquito net that we would sleep under each night. As we prepared to go to bed, my roommate joked that she felt like a princess sleeping under the net. I laughed, but visions of Disney fairy tale characters like Snow White ran through my mind as the gossamer net wafted in the nighttime breezes. As my body relaxed and I felt the tensions of the day’s travel subside, I thought of this country and others like it, where a mesh fabric so thin you could easily see through it was helping to save so many lives..a simple mesh net. How many young ‘princes’ or ‘princesses’ in this country had such a life-saving advantage each night, in countries where the smallest of insects could bring your life to a horrific halt? How about the continent of Africa - how many young children there would have the benefit of a net this evening, or the advantage of life-saving medical treatment should they contract the illness? 

Imagine No Malaria works for the princes and princesses of this world, for the mothers and children of Sub-Saharan Africa who will not live in luxury, but for whom a bed net and access to medical treatment seem like great and glorious treasures. They may seem like the uncounted and unimportant to some, yet they are valued, they count, they matter to God. Around our globe there are those who care enough to fight the good fight to protect the vulnerable, and to eradicate this menace once and for all, and they are making significant progress. We as United Methodists are part of that good fight. 
But it starts with seeing people differently. It starts with seeing a ‘prince’ or ‘princess’, instead of a poor child with ragged shoes, and torn clothes. It starts with knowing that they are truly the sons and daughters of God who deserve this net to protect them from harm, and deserve the medications being developed to keep them far from the hurt which otherwise might befall them. It starts with a life that is valued in the eyes of God, and by us all. 

Do you see princes and princesses in this world? I do. 

Prayer: God, give us the wisdom to see our neighbors as you see them. Amen 

Rev. Pam Carter, Western North Carolina Conference 

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